The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), a coalition of several Islamic groups in Nigeria led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, has described as “absurd” and “unfortunate” the widespread insinuation that Fulani herdsmen are responsible for the attacks on villagers in Benue, Enugu, Nasarawa and other parts of the country.
In a statement, signed by Khalid Aliyu, the organisation’s secretary-general, the JNI said it was shocked by the attacks.
“Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) received with great shock and deep concern the news of incessant killings and maiming of innocent lives and the destruction of public and private properties,” the statement said.
“Of particular concern are the brutal murders of people in Agatu-Benue State, Nnibo-Enugu state and some parts of Nasarawa state.
“It is indeed alarming that within few weeks, deadly attacks were reportedly unleashed while the perpetrators go un-arrested. JNI therefore condemns in strong terms these repeated heinous attacks and once again calls on the relevant security agencies to brace up to the trends, in order to put a stop to this ugly tide, as human lives are sacred and must be seen to be treated as so.”
The JNI said the attacks were criminal in nature and should be treated as such.
“The repeated heinous acts of attacks are crimes against the citizenry and the perpetrators are therefore criminals and must be treated so.”
It, however, said the attacks were not carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
“It is indeed absurd and most unfortunate that certain groups or people ascribe the incidence on ethnic and/or religious premise and to whimsically apportion blame in order to batter the gradual restoration of peace and security in Nigeria,” it said.
The JNI, which commiserated with the victims of the attack, also called for “concerted introspection and commitment by relevant agencies to take proactive and effective measures in addressing this pernicious problem.”