A group, known as Coalition of Kogi East Socio-Cultural Organisations has called for the arrest of the leaders of the Kogi state branch of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association following repeated killings traceable to marauding fulani herdsmen.
The group in a statement signed by its Secretary, Maji Isah also condemned the response of no action from the Federal Government and demanded the immediate deployment of troops to Oganenigu, Abejukolo, Ojuwo, Agojeju, in Dekina and Omala LGAs of Kogi State amongst other list of demands.
Below is the statement released by the group:
Statement By the Kogi East Coalition of Socio-Cultural Organisations on the mindless, barbaric and deliberate killing of Kogi East indigenes under the watch of a democratic regime that swore on oath to protect lives and property of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
1. The Kogi East Coalition Of Socio-Cultural Organisations observed that:
i.The Federal Government failed to send military response to affected Kogi communities thereby leaving our people under guillotine of Fulani terrorists who satisfied their thirst for blood by the cold and callous murder of tens of people across Kogi communities of Abejukolo, Oganenigu, Ojuwo, Ojeh, Agojeju, and some parts of Bassa within fourth eight hours.
ii.This invading Fulani herdsmen did not only destroy houses, farm produces and displaced people, they have gone ahead to occupy our communities with viable cattle grazing on our farmlands under the protection of terrorist carrying assault military grade weapons.
iii.The recent escalation of violence across communities in Dekina and Omala Local government is worrisome and calls for immediate military action
iv.Up til the time of this press statement, neither the President, The Chief of Army Staff , the Governor nor the Inspector General of Police has made an official statement to condemn this killings.
v.We sense a carefully orchestrated and systematically arranged plot to annihilate Igala people, a plot which has the backing of government that will deploy a task force to protect cattle and record its success as against its citizens.
vi.The handful of military personnel present at the crisis theatre have orders not to engage the insurgents and messengers of death occupying our lands.
vii.With Governor Yahaya Bello paying less attention to what happens to the indigenes of Kogi East and more attention to what pleases the President, we believe it is time for Kogi East people to rise up and assert their right to life and peaceful existence through advocacy, civil action and other peaceful means necessary.
ix.We hold strongly that the right to life is a universal gift of God that no race or tribe lays a higher claim to it.
We hereby demand the following;
1.That the Federal government deploys with immediate effect, troops to Oganenigu, Abejukolo, Ojuwo, Agojeju, in Dekina and Omala LGAs of Kogi State, not to protect cattle but to engage and flush out all terrorists elements so that our people can go back to their farming activities and avert an impending food crisis looming in the State.
2.That the representatives of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Kogi State chapter be arrested and questioned in regards to this recent killings
3.That all Fulani herdsmen be promptly disarmed by the Government and checks be carried out on cattle movement to ensure weapons are not transported with the cattles.
4. Kogi East coalition of social cultural organization hereby holds that we oppose any law or suggestion of cattle colony in our communities. We have farmlands and not grazing reserves as farmers and cattle can never have a harmonious marriage.
6.We demand that the Kogi State House of Assembly attend urgently to a bill that outlaws cattle colony as we have seen the destruction of lives and properties from Fulani herdsmen over the years
7.We also demand the full compensation by the Government to victims of this crisis across the State. This we believe will help to cushion or alleviate the impact of the losses already incurred.
8) We call on both NEMA and SEMA to immefiately attend to our people who are become displaced.
We hold that all land belong to God and the Government but Kogi East has been allotted to us and our posterity. In the event where the government fails or delays in its responsibility to protect us from external invaders, we the people of Kogi East shall assert our right to life and to peaceful existence by any means necessary.
This is our watch and it shall not be said of us that we had no Kogi East to pass onto to our children.
We demand beyond words and promises. We demand quick and decisive actions and we demand that now.
God bless Nigeria
God bless Kogi State
God bless Kogi-East
Comr. Maji Isah
Secretary Kogi East Coalition Of Social Cultural Organizations