- Says govt has failed
The General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, took a swipe over the recent killings of Benue State citizens by Fulani herdsmen.
Bakare accused government of being complicit by refusing to vigorously execute policies aimed at preventing the killings even with sufficient warnings.
In his blistering State of the Nation address titled, “It is Time to Renegotiate Our Union,” aired on live television, the cleric, who was running mate to Buhari in the 2011 presidential election, said nothing indicted the Federal Government greater than its failure in one key performance area that ought to be its strength, which is security.
He said the recent killings in Benue, Adamawa and Taraba states by Fulani herdsmen were indications that not only “has the government failed to stop the killings across the country, it has done so against the backdrop of conspiratorial silence, choosing rather to label such attacks an issue of communal misunderstanding.
“The recent killings in Benue State are akin to the last straw that is set to break the camel’s back. Not only has the government failed to stop these killings across the country, it has done so against the backdrop of conspiratorial silence, choosing rather to label such attacks ‘an issue of communal misunderstanding’. Worse still, some of these killings have reportedly been carried out in collusion with the military.
“Recently, the Secretary to the Adamawa State Government, Umar Bindir, justified the bearing of arms by the herdsmen but failed to tell where the herdsmen get their guns from and with which government agency these guns are registered.
“Who authorised them to bear arms? Who gave them immunity against Section 3 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act 1990, which prescribes punishment for illegal possession of arms? Who monitors the use of these guns?
“Why has the relevant government agencies failed to act? In particular, why has the name Department of State Services (DSS) become synonymous with the phrase ‘Deliberate Sinful Silence’ (DSS)? Or is it now the ‘Department of Sinful Silence’?
“The Federal Government has become complicit for the following reasons: By not advancing and vigorously executing policies aimed at pre-empting or preventing these killings even with sufficient warnings.
“Despite the antecedents of the marauders, including the recent Adamawa incidents, Mr. President, in his New Year address to the nation, did not consider the menace or the pain of victims of previous attacks worth a mention in his address.
“The stones are crying out from Benue State and every part of the country where herdsmen have slaughtered the innocent in unspeakably barbaric attacks while the government failed to act until there were yet more bodies in morgues.
“By failing to give victims a path to reconciliation and the hope of a united Nigeria. It has been reported, for instance, that as a result of the failure of government to act, there have been reprisal attacks on herdsmen, resulting in a vicious cycle of death and destruction.”