A coalition of Niger Delta militants has declared a 21-day mourning period for those massacred recently in Plateau State by rampaging herdsmen, even as they charged the Federal Government to by the end of the mourning period reorganise the nation’s security agencies and disband Miyetti Allah.
While given the Federal Government a 21-day notice over herdsmen killings across the country, especially the latest development in Plateau State, the militants, who met at Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, threatened to declare herdsmen and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association enemies.
They also asked the Federal Government to devolve power to states and regions to enable governors discharge their primary responsibility of protecting lives and property in their states, among five other conditions, in order to forestall anarchy and further bloodshed.
The militants made these positions public in a statement by their leader, W.O I Izonebi, which read: “As agitators with conscience, we take lives of fellow Nigerians sacrosanct as no amount of provocation will lead to the slaughtering of innocent Nigerians because of cows.
“We, therefore, declare 21 days of mourning for the innocent Nigerians killed in Plateau State by foreigners trained by late Gaddafi that are now masquerading as herdsmen, according to our President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“We urge the government to do the needful before the expiration of our 21 days of mourning to avoid a total breakdown of law and order because it seems we do not have law, and government is unable to implement its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property of its citizens.
“We demand implementation of the following to avoid doom and more loss of lives: The immediate devolution of power to states and regions to enable governors discharge their primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties and declaration and proscription of the Gaddafi mercenaries masquerading as herdsmen as a terrorist organisation.
“The government and security agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting Nigeria and its territorial integrity should apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime against innocent Nigerians and humanity; total overhaul of the security organisation and security chiefs, immediate arrest of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association leaders and its disbandment with immediate effect.”
The militants, who called themselves the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, strongly condemned the gruesome murder of about 200 innocent Nigerians in Plateau State by the so-called Gaddafi mercenaries masquerading as herdsmen.
They said, “We condemn the ungodly and provocative statement of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, applauding and justifying the killings as a reprisal attack because of alleged killing of 300 cows.
“We also condemn the inability of the government and security agencies to protect its citizens from foreigners masquerading as herdsmen committing genocide in the Middle Belt of our dear nation, Nigeria.
“The trading of blame and politicization of the killings by the federal government and security agencies have given us no choice but to re-echo the call for the immediate restructuring of our dear country to avoid the untimely death of innocent Nigerians that are currently feeling the pain of hardship and suffering.
“We are not going to fold our arms to see foreigners masquerading as herdsmen slaughter and kill hardworking Nigerians that are going about their legitimate businesses and livelihood, when we have a democratically elected government in place.”
The coalition raised the following posers: “We are bold to ask these questions? What is the primary responsibility of government? Why is nobody being arrested and prosecuted for these killings? As agitators with conscience, we take lives of follow Nigerians sacrosanct as no amount of provocation will lead to the slaughtering of innocent Nigerians because of cows. “
“The 21st Century Youths will no longer keep quiet and fold its arms to watch this ungodly, demonic genocide to continue in this 21st century. We, therefore, warn that after this 21 days of mourning is over and nothing is done, we, the good people of the Niger Delta, and coalition of agitators will have no choice than to declare herdsmen and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association enemies of the Niger Delta and Nigerians in general:
“Therefore, we do not wish to see them in any of the Niger Delta states because the pollution and degradation of our farmlands and the polluted waters and rivers are enough provocation, let alone seeing our mothers and sisters in a life threatening situation and being killed by cattle breeders, while the Miyetti Allah is applauding them because they value the lives of cows more than human lives.
“Enough of this carnage going on, we should use this 21 days of mourning to reflect and ask the question, if we are truly a nation where the life of a cow is more valuable than human life,” the statement concluded.