The Catholic Church has condemned the attack by Fulani herdsmen on the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, with a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to “draw a line with them” by using the same energy he had deployed in the fight again corruption.
While describing the attacks by the Fulani herdsmen as another form of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, the church said the government’s attitude to the activities of the herders was discouraging.
The Parish Priest of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa in Abuja, Rev. Dr. Willy Ojukwu and Initiator of the Marian Soup Kitchen, spoke in Abuja ahead of the inauguration of a N300m skill acquisition and humanitarian centre for the poor, the needy and vulnerable members of the country.
He said, “We condemn the attack on Onaiyekan and the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has better explanation on what the security agencies are doing about it. The primary job of any government at all levels is to protect the lives and property of the citizens.
“Presently in Nigeria, Boko Haram inflicts a lot of pain and hardship, destroys life and property. Initially, the government took it lightly till it went out of hand. In view of this, I call on the Federal Government to wake up and take the present activities of Fulani herdsmen very seriously. They are another form of Boko Haram. A stitch in time saves nine. Buhari’s government should make hay while the sun shines.”
Meanwhile, a socio-cultural organisation, Yoruba Youth Council, has opposed the alleged agitation for grazing reserves for herdsmen.
The group said the violent activities of Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the South-West and Enugu State was an indication that the Fulani wanted to declare war against Southern Nigeria.
While describing the agitation for grazing reserves as “a ploy to impose the Fulani oligarchy agenda on the entire nation,” the YYC urged members of the National Assembly representing the Yoruba race not to support the bill promoting the creation of the grazing reserves.
The group threatened to stop Fulani herdsmen from rearing their cattle in any part of Yoruba-speaking states if adequate and workable measures were not taken to prevent them from unleashing violence on the people of the region.
The YYC’s position was contained in a communiqué issued after its emergency meeting in Abuja. The communiqué was signed by its National President, Otunba Eric Oluwole and National Publicity Secretary, Oladeinde ‘Dare.