A coalition of young lawyers in Taraba State on Tuesday alleged that the Federal Government and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the organisation of Fulani herdsmen, were displaying “double standards” with human lives.
The group said that recent developments in the country, especially during ethnic clashes, had shown that Fulani and their cows had become first class citizens in Nigeria.
The lawyers also declared August 1 as a national day of mourning, and urged ethnic nationalities to quietly pray for the repose of the souls of all “Fulani victims” and those who died in the Mambilla crisis in Sarduana Local Government Area of the state.
According to them, the Federal Government had continued to exhibit partiality in dealing with crisis, stressing that only Fulani lives appeared to matter to the government.
The lawyers, under the aegis of The Radicals, in a statement issued by their spokesperson, Nierus Johnson, also said they would proceed to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, to press charges against the Federal Government and MACBAN.
Johnson said that the lawyers had resolved to drag the Federal Government to the ICC to press charges and seek protection for other ethnic groups.
He said the group would also storm the ECOWAS court in Abuja to sue MACBAN and other Fulani organisations “for encouraging trans-border importation of mercenaries in reprisals attacks.”
He said, “We are reading of people saying they are going to ICC and ECOWAS court. Well, they are not the only one who know the road to these courts. We are on our way there too with our own case. And I dare say, we have a better case. How many Fulani have died in crisis compared to other ethnic groups across Nigeria? Everyone from every part of this country is now tired and angry.
“We have cows in classrooms. Farmers don’t go to farms anymore. And there are more farmers in Nigeria. People should not get it wrong. We are in pains whenever any Fulani person dies because in Taraba, for instance, we have relatives who are Fulani too. We have Christians who are Fulani too. So, it is not a religious thing. We love the Fulani amongst us and we shall continue to protect them but that won’t stop us from telling the truth. The Federal Government has demonstrated that Nigeria has first class and second class citizens. Fulani and their cows are now the first class citizens.”
Johnson said the response of the Federal Government to crisis around the nation indicated that it was only when Fulani cried out that government was propelled into action.
He said, “When Fulani cried out recently during the Mambilla crisis, we saw the swift reactions. A GOC (General Officer Commanding) was dragged from Jos to the state. And we have GOC’s around here but they had to go to Jos and get someone to do their biddings.
“The GOC came here and said he saw something worse than Boko Haram. But we haven’t heard him recently with the Southern Kaduna killings. Fulani are unleashing hell everywhere and we have not seen the Minister of Interior, visiting those places or summoning the governors for questioning.
“On August 1, we are urging our people to mourn the death of Tivs, Southern Kaduna people, Jukuns, Mambilla, Kutebs and even some innocent law abiding Fulani caught in the cross fire in Sarduana LGA.