Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria,(HURIWA) on Wednesday, said it is very unfortunate that soldiers who should be deployed to confront savage terrorists overrunning Kaduna State are wasting away in Ondo State, protecting Fulani cows.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, described as a blatant misplacement of priority, the deployment of soldiers in the entire Southern region of Nigeria including the South-West and South-East zones for purposes such as protection of herders and their cattle.
The group urged the military authorities to recall a sizeable percentage of troops posted to Southern Nigeria and redeploy them to Kaduna to combat bloodthirsty terrorists who have daily invaded the North-West state in the last two weeks, wreaking unprintable havoc including ghoulish killings, bombings and kidnappings.
According to news reports, terrorists killed 17 soldiers and wounded 40 others in an attack at a military base in Polwire, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna this week. This was barely a week after the marauders bombed an Abuja-Kaduna train, killing scores and injuring hundreds while many are still unaccounted for.
The insurgents numbering over 200 had also invaded the Kaduna International Airport, killed an airspace worker and injured many other airport staff, even as they forced a plane from taking off from the airport. Many pockets of gruesome and macabre attacks have been recorded in the last two weeks in Kaduna. The death toll emanating from Kaduna in the last two years is concerning with over 2,000 murdered and over 5,000 killed by terrorists hitherto labelled bandits.
But just as the terrorists are unfortunately overrunning Kaduna, classified a war zone by Governor Nasir el-Rufai and presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, men of the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Akure are gallivanting in Ondo, demanding the release of Fulani cows seized by the Ondo State Security Network Agency also known as Amotekun Corps for violating the state anti-open grazing law.
Reacting in the statement released on Wednesday, HURIWA’s Onwubiko described the deployment of soldiers in relatively peaceful states of Southern Nigeria as a misplacement of priority.
Onwubiko said, “It is an established fact that Kaduna State is a war zone going by the carnage committed by terrorists in the last two weeks, especially and going by the description of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai; as well as presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina.
“The onslaught by audacious terrorists is unprecedented in the entire North-West and akin to the Boko Haram/ISWAP ferocious attacks in the North-East.
“However, instead of deploying most of its men to the theatre of war to stamp out terrorists overrunning Kaduna State and having a field’s day, the Nigerian Army, sadly, is more concerned about the safety of trespassing cows than the thousands of innocent Nigerians killed by insurgents in Kaduna State month in, month out. This is most unfortunate.
“This sort of misplacement of priority abound in media reports of the past seven years because the Federal Government in Abuja elevated cows to a sacred position far above the sanctity of life. This is why the combat readiness of soldiers are declining because they are being deployed for roles they are unsuited for due to selfish reasons. This is indeed why rampaging Fulani terrorists are killing soldiers and bombing down military jets and nobody is called to account.
“HURIWA urges the service chiefs to face reality and put away ethnic sentiments. Kaduna needs all the soldiers that the military can muster now. War, aside weapon sophistry, is also about numerical strength. Apparently, the terrorists are recruiting en masse. For 200 terrorists to invade an airport at once? Who knows how many hundreds of them bombed the Abuja-Kaduna train, amongst other vicious attacks. The service chiefs should act fast and deploy soldiers lagging away in Southern Nigeria to Kaduna, the new theatre of war in Nigeria. The earlier the better. A word is enough for the wise, the elders say.”
Aprll 6, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).