PFN Blames Buhari’s Silence for Herdsmen Attacks
Worried by the incessant attacks by some herdsmen on innocent Nigerians in all parts of the country, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) says the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari has fuelled the rampaging activities of Fulani herdsmen across the country.
According to an agency report, the PFN in a statement, by its chairman in Enugu state, Rev. Goddy Madu, described the herdsmen as “Boko Haram in disguise and agents of Islamisation”.
Rev. Goddy Madu, speaking on the backdrop of incessant herdsmen attacks in Enugu said the recent attack on Attakwu community of Enugu state could no longer be condoned.
He said: “It was a deadly and unprovoked attack on a peace-loving community and this happened while we are yet to recover from the massacre at Nimbo. “We are not happy over the silence of President Buhari over these attacks. He should make a strong statement to stop these wicked attacks by Fulani herdsmen.”
He urged the people to be security-conscious and protect their churches and villages from these the attackers who he described as “wicked people who kill and suck blood of innocent citizens”.
In a related development, the secretary of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Jospeh Ajujungwa, called on the Enugu State House of Assembly and other South-East states to immediately enact laws that would end the deadly activities of herdsmen.
Similarly, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy president of the Senate, has called on states and the FG to pass legislations restricting cattle rearing to modern ranches and also setting up Forest Rangers to enforce such laws.
Ekweremadu who spoke in New York during the 2016 Convention of the World Igbo Congress (WIC) said unless Nigeria was restructured, to make it more efficient and productive, it would be difficult for the country to wriggle out of security challenges, pervasive poverty and retarded growth.
Meanwhile, the coalition of 22 Christian groups in Nigeria led by National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has criticised the Sultan of Sokoto for announcing the Eid-El-Kabir celebration day. Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III who is the Sultan on Friday, September 2, announced that Muslims will observe the Eid el-Kabir on Monday, September 12. In a statement signed by the chairman advisory committee on religious Affairs at the Sultanate council in Sokoto Sambo Junaidu, the committee together with the moon sighting committee received reports from various committees in Nigeria over the Eid el-Kabir.
Junaidu said this followed the declaration of Saturday, September 3, as the first Zulhijja, 1437 AH. Having accepted the committee reports the sultan further declared the Eid el-Kabir day, Junaid said.
Mr. Solomon Asemota who is the chairman of the council issued a statement on behalf of the coalition and said it was “very improper for the head of the Islamic faith in Nigeria to announce, declare, or extend public holidays.”
The statement read: “We unequivocally wish to state that it is very improper for the head of the Islamic faith in Nigeria to announce, declare, or extend Public Holidays.
“This is the function of the Federal Government and need not be abdicated. This kind of anomalous development has not been taking place in Nigeria until the advent of the Buhari Administration which has gone to great lengths to deepen religious divide and tension in Nigeria.
“Again, we have no objection whatsoever to the Muslim Public Holiday but our concern is that in a secular society as enshrined in Section 10 of the Constitution, the responsibility of declaring or announcing a religious Public Holiday is vested in the Federal Government and such responsibility is sacrosanct.
“We are not unaware of various manipulations and acts of impunity to transform Nigeria from a Liberal Democratic society to an Islamic Theocratic State. As we stated in our previous paper, the full membership of Nigeria in OIC, in 1986, by the Babangida Military Administration is tantamount to making Nigeria an Islamic state.
“The nation is yet to resolve this unilateral imposition of one religion over the nation by an individual. We also conclude that the present distress in the nation, occasioned by religious intolerance and insurgency, from the development of Boko Haram to the evolving of fanatical Muslim assailants, like the Fulani herdsmen, derive from this unilateral and improper decision of the Babangida Administration.
“Even the sponsors and actors of the membership of Nigeria in OIC in 1986 were aware of the illegality of their action and as such, kept it out of public knowledge for 10 years until 1996 when Sultan Dasuki confirmed to the Pope that Nigeria was a full member of the OIC.
“We wish to remind the present Administration that religion is a very sensitive and emotional aspect of Nigerians. The wisdom of the founding fathers of this nation to adopt Liberal Democracy as national ideology to accommodate all the divergent groups in the nation cannot be faulted.
“Any attempt to distort that delicate balance in the Nigerian society shall produce nothing but destruction and devastation as the nation is currently witnessing. There is still time for religious extremists to desist before they push Nigeria off the brink of the precipice.” The Sultan had also congratulated all Muslims in Nigeria and wished them Allah’s guidance, protection and blessings while admonishing Muslims to pray to a continuous reign of peace, progress and development in Nigeria.