ABUJA (Sundiata Post) A shocking revelation has been made by the Muhammadu Buhari administration on Wednesday regarding the killings being perpetrated by Fulani Herdsmen by claiming that killings by the Herdsmen under its watch have not surpassed that of the Goodluck Jonathan regime.
This was according to the presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, who claimed via a Facebook video that more than 756 people were massacred by the herdsmen towards the end of Jonathan’s regime.
According to the report by The Whistler, Femi Adesina’s claim contradicts the statement by Amnesty International which said on Tuesday that the spate of herdsmen killings have escalated further under the Buhari-led government.
“The Nigerian authorities must do more to end this epidemic of gruesome killings of dozens of people across the country. Though these clashes have been going on for years, we have seen a disturbing escalation in the bloodshed since the start of 2018,” Osai Ojigho, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, had said.
There have equally been speculations from certain quarters that President Buhari has been lukewarm about fighting the prowling herders allegedly because he is from the Fulani ethnic extraction.
Addressing such claims, Adesina said, “Something that is disturbing that I have heard about it is linking those developments to the fact that a Fulani man is President and so, he is brooking such kind of evil acts.
“I think that is very unkind. And I will try to back my position with statistics.
“In 2013, particularly, there were nine cases of herdsmen invading communities in Benue state alone and more than 190 people were killed.
“In 2014, there were about 16 of such tragic developments with more than 231 people killed. And then there was a change of government in May 2015.
“But between January and May 2015, there were six attacks which left about 335 people dead.
“Now, the question is, during that period, did we have a Fulani president?
“It is the duty of government to preserve the lives of the citizenry. It is the responsibility of government to maintain law and order and that this government is determined to do.
“Therefore, let nobody say that all this is happening because we have a Fulani president.
“We have had many Fulani presidents in the past and this issue of herders and local communities at loggerheads has predated this government.
“But I will just like to appeal to Nigerians that the Muhammadu Buhari government is determined to crack this issue, is determined to get to the bottom of it and it will get done,” he added.
But contrary to this defense by the Presidency, checks by Sundiata Post can confirm that about 864 people have been killed by Fulani Herdsmen since President Buhari took over in 2015.
According to a special investigation by Punch in May 2016, no fewer than 526 had already been killed at that time by herdsmen since the President took over.
As at January 2017, Premium Times had reported a statement by NEMA that 204 people were killed by Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna between October and December 2016.
Latest report by Daily Post also confirms that at least 80 people have been reported dead in the December 2017 attack by herdsmen in Benue state.
In a similar vein, The Nation has also reported that 55 have been killed by the Fulani herdsmen in Lau local government area of Taraba as at yesterday.
These figures already surpass that under President Jonathan as claimed by Buhari’s government.