The recent attack in Benue State by alleged Fulani herdsmen which left scores dead has attracted wide spread condemnation by Nigerians. Lawyers have also expressed their shock at the wanton killing.
In a statement he titled “Time to Act is Now” Mazi Afam Osigwe noted that the attacks by Fulani herdsmen has assumed a worrisome level of notoriety calling on the Government to arrest the situation, stop the killings and bring the perpetrators to book.
“Many communities in Nigeria currently reel under the ferocious attacks by people commonly referred as herdsmen. Kidnappings, armed robbery and other forms of brigandage are also among the leading causes of death and insecurity in our country.
The attacks by herdsmen has fast assumed a worrisome level of notoriety and seeming untouchability. The mass killing of innocent persons and widespread destruction of property, by these herdsmen is very deplorable.
The killings traverse many states. The shedding of blood of unarmed innocent citizens goes on unchallenged.
The latest in the attacks occurred in Benue State. Like in other states lots of families are left to grieve without any person being held responsible. Dreams are shattered. Living in such communities has become an unending tale of hopelessness and helplessness. People live in fear they may lose their lives at any time.
People are worried Government seem unconcerned because the gruesome murders are not given the desired treatment. It is believed the killing spree has continued unabated because there are no arrests, no serious investigations and nobody is ever seriously brought to book.
We call on the Government to arrest the situation, stop the killings and bring the perpetrators to book. Nothing but these will ensure the killings end and restore peoples’ confidence in the ability of the government to guarantee the security of their lives and property.”
Mazi reminded that Nigerian Constitution declares that security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“The Constitution therefore places a great responsibility on Government to maintain peace and order. Many Nigerians believe the government needs to do a lot more in this regard.”
“The killing has gone on unchecked for too long and must be stemmed. Law and order must be restored.”
“The time to act is now.”
Also speaking on the incident, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN pleaded on the Federal Government to stop what he calls Community Murders by Armed Bandits. “The recent attacks and gruesome murders of innocent unarmed and defenceless citizens in many Nigerian Communities by armed bandits is to say the least callous and unfortunate.”
Prof. Ojukwu who noted that the incidents have become so recurrent that it is beginning to look like the new normal urged the Government to take urgent steps to bring the situation under control.
“ These incidences have become recurring decimal and beginning to look like the new normal. These attacks and bloodletting as recently reported in Benue State is one too many and must be stopped by the Federal Government now. No one is above the law.”
“These lawlessness must be discouraged. I appeal to the Federal Government to take urgent steps to bring the situation under control as well as bringing the perpetrators of these dastardly acts to book. “
“I commiserate with families that lost their loved ones in Benue State in this recent attack.”
In another development, human right lawyer Mr. Femi Falana has threatened to take the Federal Government to court over the Benue incident.
Speaking on the incident Mr. Falana said
“I am taking the matter to court to defend the rights of our people to life; it is the most fundamental right. The right to life is the most fundamental right.
“These reckless killings cannot continue without a concrete action on the part of the Federal Government. So, we are going to court to ask for mandamus to compel the Federal Government to save the lives and property of all Nigerians.”
“I have set up a team of lawyers on the ground to collate necessary information on this matter.”