There is outrage on social media over the failure of relevant authorities to speak on the brutal killing of a family of 19 herders in Anambra State on Sunday, April 24.
Some prominent Nigerians have also voiced out reservations over the “silence of the graveyard” that trailed the incident. They said those that have the power and resources to stop the orgy of violence against Fulani herders in the South have refused to talk.
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The Fulani herders were reportedly killed by suspected members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Commentators were particularly horrified with the way the victims were gruesomely murdered.
The video showed that the victims were trailed to their settlement in Ukpomashi village, Awkuzu of Oyi Local Government Area where they lived with their cattle and shot at close range.
The father of the house, Ibrahim Medium, nine women, six children and three men were killed during the attack.
While some of the dead bodies were thereafter beheaded, the hands and legs of others were severed and their stomach ripped open.
The animals of the herders including cow and sheep were also killed and their house and other belongings vandalised.
While some commentators described the attack as the height of man’s inhumanity to man, others berated both the federal and Anambra State Government for not calling out the perpetrators and arresting them.
Two notable northern groups have also expressed anger that five days after the needless killing at the Fulani settlement, both the print and broadcast media looked the other way as if nothing happened.
They said the “I don’t care attitude” of relevant stakeholders to the ugly events in the South portend danger to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Anger on the web
On social media, especially on the microblogging site, Twitter, Nigerians have been critical of the killings of the 19 herders.
Reacting to the videos of the slain family members that have been trending on social media since Monday, a Twitter user, Bash Farhan, wrote: “The video of the remains of 19 Fulani women and children massacred in Anambra State is the worst thing that anyone can see today.”
A user, F.S. Yusuf, wrote: “No killing is permissible irrespective of tribe or religion. I utterly condemn the killing of that peaceful Fulani family in Igbariam. It is high time we take action against such acts very seriously. The polity is already heated.”
Another user, Rayyan, said: “Now you see the hypocrisy in this country. 19 Fulanis have been slain in cold blood and no media is reporting it. It is quite disheartening as no one is talking about it. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists are accusing the same Fulani of the killing.”
Muhsin Ibrahim described the killing as “Very illogical.” He said, “IPOB terrorists murdered 19 members of the same Fulani family, including babies. What a country! What a people! What have we done to these folks?”
Abubakar Muhammed blamed both the federal and Anambra State Governments of not protecting the family as well as others that have been killed in the state.
“Entire Fulani family of 19 have been wiped out by IPOB militia in Anambra State. A very sad development as the authority at both state and federal levels couldn’t protect them,” he said.
For Baba Ali: “The killing of 19 Fulani family members in Anambra is an act of terror; Nigerians should unite against any form of terror.”
Targeting northerners a dangerous game – NEF
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has warned that targeting and killing northerners in the south-eastern part of the country by IPOB members can trigger a bigger mayhem for the future of Nigeria. The NEF on Wednesday sounded a warning against what it described as a “dangerous development” following the gruesome murder of 19 members of a Fulani family, mostly women and children in Anambra village.
“Those who are singling out Fulani people and killing them, singling out policemen, the military and customs, targeting the softer underbelly of the nation should better realise that they are playing with fire” said the NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed.
Speaking to Daily Trust on phone, he said: “Those who target northerners in the southern part of the country are playing a dangerous game. It is not a game anybody can confidently say he can control but it is getting to a point where even we cannot find enough reason to justify why people should continue to exercise restraint.”
He said while it was tempting to ask Fulani and Hausa people who are being attacked and harassed almost on daily basis to leave the southern part of the country and return home, Baba Ahmed said: “We would not do that for many reasons. One is that we believe they have a right to stay there and they have a right to security and to live in peace and we believe that the Nigerian state has a duty to protect them.
“And if we ask them to leave, we will be playing into the hands of the people who believe that they can engage in ethnic cleansing; pick which ethnic group, which religion they do not want to see and they will weaken the foundations of the Nigerian state and so we are reluctant to do that,” he said.
He reminded governors in the South East that IPOB had already taken a huge chunk of their territory and political terrain, saying with their recent agitation to be trusted with the leadership of the country in 2023, they needed to prove that they could secure their region.
North will no longer tolerate provocation from IPOB – CNG
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has warned that the North will no longer remain tolerant in the face of persistent provocation from IPOB members.
CNG stated this in the wake of the gruesome killing and decapitation of 19 members of a Fulani family in Anambra State on Sunday.
The CNG yesterday described the South East as the most aggressive section of the country whose members are comfortably accommodated and protected in the North.
It said “Enough is enough as those responsible for the butchery in Anambra shall be called to account in the fullness of time.”
CNG spokesman Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said: “The nature of the killings, which involved decapitation of limbs and the complicit silence of the entire leadership of the Igbo at home and in the Diaspora confirms that the entire people of the South East are in support of IPOB’s violent secessionist agitation for Biafra.
“We are also worried that a section of the media, which has traditionally been hostile and biased whenever matters that affect the North or people that come from the North are reported or commented on are desperately attempting to conceal the extent of the killings and the true identity of those who instigated them.
“This cover-up is to the extent that the massacre, when reported, is attributed to ‘unknown gunmen’ and not IPOB terror militia,” he said.
Suleiman described as unfortunate, a situation when only those who commit crimes around the northern region or criminals who are northerners are identifiable by their religious and ethnic labels. “Otherwise these IPOB killers should be addressed appropriately because this act of cannibalism is worse than any ever committed by Boko Haram or the marauding bandits.”
Daily Trust recalled that on the day of the attack, the Anambra Police Command confirmed the incident in a statement issued by its spokesman, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, but said only nine people were killed.
From Lami Sadiq (Kaduna), Nana-Hauwa Sule (Kano) & Abbas Dalibi