The socio-cultural group of Fulanis in Nigeria, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, have threatened to drag the Nigerian government before the International Criminal Court over the killings of Fulani herdsmen by the Nigerian military in Nasarawa State.
The military had claimed that those it killed last week in an operation in Kaena community of Nasarawa State, were gunmen who have terrorized local farmers in the state and neighbouring Benue.
But the association denied the allegation, saying the victims were innocent Fulani, even as it alleged that there was a grand plot to eliminate the Fulani from Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja Tuesday, the Nasarawa State secretary of MACBAN, Alhaji Mohammed Husseini, called on government to tender a public apology and pay compensation to the families of those killed by soldiers.
He said, “Our people were killed in their houses which they have inhabited for over 30 years without committing any crime. We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt there is a grand plot to eliminate the Fulani from Nigeria. Otherwise there is no reason why a people will continue to be killed in their houses by government troops who are supposed to protect them.
“This time around we cannot keep quiet, even if it means going to the International Criminal Court, because what is being done to us amounts to genocide and ethnic cleansing”.
He stressing that direct confrontation will never solve the issue at hand, Husseini noted that the Fulanis are open to positive dialogue.
He said though there may be bad eggs amongst the Fulanis “the primary responsibility of the government is to fish out the bad eggs and there are standard procedures for doing that”.
He warned that the approach been applied by the government may take a turn for the worse and may become very difficult to handle.