…Describes UN statement as callous, insensitive and lopsided
A group under the auspices of Middle Belt Patriots have berated the United Nations over its statement on the recent bombing of civilians in Nasarawa state. The group in a statement signed by its National Secretary Comrade Kator Aondover and made available to Middle Belt Times on Monday described the statement credited to Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide as callous, divisive, insensitive and lopsided.
The statement reads;
“On the 3rd of February 2023, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide released a UN statement on the worsening insecurity situation in Nigeria.
“In that statement, she expressed her strongest condemnation for an airstrike that – in her words, “killed at least 40 civilian herders from the Fulani ethnic community whilst injuring scores more”.
“She expressed concern over the security situation in the North West and North Central where “the air attacks resulted in the casualties of Fulani took place”.
“The fact that Alice Wairimu, a representative of the United Nations, did not complete sufficient research prior to making such a delicate statement that has the potential to aggravate ethnic tensions and tearing the very fabric of an already fragile nation like Nigeria has analysts perplexed”.
“The UN through Alice Wairimu, in its malicious report, painted a picture of “exclusive Fulani victimhood”, and that the Fulani communities were targeted along identity lines”.
UN office of Prevention of Genocide statement.
“Unknown to Alice Wairimu, the truth about the airstrike in Rukubi, a village on the border between Nasarawa and Benue States would be told by Hon Akyala Ishaku, a House of Representatives candidate from Nasarawa state, dispelling the myth in that statement.
“The House of Representatives candidate would disclose true events in a post where it was revealed that the victims of the airstrike included people of other ethnicities in the region, particularly the Tiv.
“He shared a photo of the living conditions in the IDP (internally displaced camp) where the displaced people of Tiv extraction were lodged.”
Recall that deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido had issued a report blaming the Governor of Benue State as the orchestrator of the attack. He said “All the air strikes that took place in Nasarawa were masterminded from Makurdi – we must hold him responsible since we know his position against Fulani.”
However, the remark defies all logic as to why the governor of Benue would wish to harm his kin who were undoubtedly affected by the airstrike yet to be investigated by the authority.
But what continues to be perplexing is why the UN and Sanusi would want to portray it as an attack solely on people of Fulani extraction and the targeting of Fulani people along identity lines, when the Fulani victims of the attack only make up a portion of the victims of the bombing.
Apparently, the United Nations through its the Special Adviser, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, has taken the Sanusi narrative through its statement on the matter.
At the moment, there is little confidence that the United Nations would take a neutral stance in future deliberations around armed insurgency and insecurity in the country.
After all, numerous petitions regarding armed attacks on defenseless natives in the Middle Belt and Southern regions of the nation have been submitted to the United Nations by various organizations, but the issue has never been handled with the zeal and promptness that the Fulani false airstrike story has.
The persistent attacks by ethnic Fulani militias, which peaked in 2017 and have wrought destruction over the whole country as shown in the heat map from Genocide Watch below, has surprisingly been ignored by the UN.
The UN has rather opted to take the “farmer – herder conflict narrative” and even though the majority of Middle Belt intellectuals strongly disagree with this narrative, the larger international community regardless has adopted them.
Intellectuals in the Middle Belt are aware that while many towns in Nigeria are rife with violence, it is unusual when the causes involves the “invasions of neighboring villages, renaming communities inhabitants and displacing them”.
Conflicts that employ this atypical strategy show that factors other than these pedagogical ones proposed by the United Nations may also be at play.
One such illustration is the conflict between theTiv and Jukun, which is sparked by boundary demarcation and should even justify or increase pressure to settle on the land of neighboring groups. However, these features are not common, and aggrieved groups do not change community names when involved in conflicts with local communities. What makes it even more outrageous is that, in accordance with a number of Nigerian governors, the confrontations are with Fulani pastoralists emanating from nations outside of Nigeria’s boarders.
All of this suggests that the United Nations may have already taken a position on the issue.
While Alice Wairmiru was making her statement, Emir Sanusi had written a petition with 52 signatures that was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing the Governor of Benue State of planning the murder of the pastoralists in Nasarawa despite the fact that the Air Force authority had admitted to the bombings and defended its action, saying that if the bombing victims were innocent herders, then justice must be served and that the perpetrators would face consequences.
Since emir Sanusi and Alice Wairmiru’s remarks, Mr. Peter Ahemba, president of the Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in Nasarawa State, has raised the alarm about armed herdsmen’s attacks and murder of innocent Tiv people in the southern part of Nasarawa state as retaliation for the recent bombing that has been mischaracterized as a Fulani targeted killing.
Doma, Keana, and Obi LGAs have witnessed armed herders kill dozens of Tiv people in recent days, the President claims, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.
According to Peter Achemba, Chabo village was totally devastated and is now nothing but ashes. The entire Tiv population in Doma was forced to leave their homes, and countless others are being killed in isolated areas, all while a murderous onslaught was launched on Ajo village in Keana LGA.
As a result, we urge Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, to apologize to the Tiv indigenes of Nasarawa for taking part in spreading the false information that has caused a “spate” of killings in Nasarawa State, as well as to the entire Tiv nation and the people of the Middle Belt for escalating the conflict in which they have suffered the most.”
End of statement…
Recall that the Middle Belt area of Nigeria has been witnessing incessant attacks on agrarian communities largely blamed on Fulani militias.
The Benue state government in its efforts to curb the menace introduced anti open grazing law in the state. The law was widely condemned by Fulani elites in the country including the federal government.
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