The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has accused the federal and state governments of turning a blind eye to the incessant ethnic killings taking place in the region.
The Amnesty International had in November, 2018, condemned the Nigerian military for not doing enough in combating the unprecedented killings arising from herdsmen/farmers’ crises that had claimed no less than 1,800 lives.
Dr Pogu Bitrus, the National President, MBF, in a statement said, “The attention of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has again been drawn to the new wave of killings in Nigeria, especially in the Middle Belt region.
“The Amnesty International had in November 2018 condemned the Nigerian military for not doing enough in combating the unprecedented killings arising from herdsmen/farmers’ crises that have claimed no less than 1,800 lives.
“These bloodbaths seem to a tip of an iceberg as, according to a media report in December 2018, put the total number of deaths across the country at 5,113 lives within 11 months of last year.
“Considering the escalation of killings in the Middle Belt region, the statement said the killings have been largely unreported by a large segment of the media.”
“The MBF is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that both the federal and state governments are turning a blind eye to these ethnic killings in order to promote ambitions of some top politicians opposed to the interest of the Middle Belt people,” the statement explained.
The MBF condemned government’s insensitivity “to the ongoing bloodshed that has turned the Middle Belt region into a silent mass grave and denied victims of these attacks funds and international support for rebuilding their lives.
“It is tragic that Nigeria is witnessing some of her worst times in terms of insecurity under the present administration. The current resurgence of Boko Haram’s activities in the North-east and the ongoing displacement of Middle Belt people reflect the determination of these terrorists to unleash bloodshed on the people of the Middle Belt region.
“The MBF is particularly drawn to the Amnesty International report entitles, ‘Harvest of Death: three years of bloody clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria’. The MBF agrees with the content of the report that details the devastating footprints of the Fulani terrorists who are yet to be brought to book. From Plateau to Adamawa; Benue to Kaduna; these states, among others, are enmeshed in unimaginable bloodshed that has left trails of tragedies.
“In Plateau and Benue states, not only were several villages and towns decimated, the invading herdsmen are now occupying these towns and villages, while survivors of these human carnages have been left to languish in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps without support from governments or international organisations,” the statement said.
The MBF said they identified with the report of the Amnesty International on the unrestrained mass killings in the Middle Belt region perpetrated under the watch of the Nigerian military.
The MBF commended the Amnesty International for carpeting the military over its deliberate refusal to arrest the perpetrator of these killings
“What is happening to the Middle Belt people is not only a deliberate ploy by criminal herdsmen to seize large swathes of land belonging to ethnic nationalities; it is a strategic warfare being waged against the people to prosecute a systemic ethnic cleansing campaign.
“The MBF calls the endorsement President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) whose membership has claimed responsibility for most of these attacks. By refusing to arrest them and make them face prosecution, the MBF is convinced that MACBAN and the current administration are collaborating to foist a reign of terror on the people of the Middle Belt region,” the forum explained.