The Coalition of Northern Groups has asked the Federal Government, to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna, Benue, Taraba and Plateau states following the trail of blood left by marauding Fulani herdsmen.
In a statement in Abuja through its spokesman Abdulazeez Suleiman, the coalition urged the Federal Government to suspend all existing political structures in the affected states and replace them with sole administrators, Punch writes.
The statement condemned the vilification of a particular ethnic group over the attacks, which it said cannot be allowed to continue.
“In this light, we deem the targeting of the entire Fulani and by extension, Muslims, for vilification, systematic dehumanisation, profiling, alienation or any action that will render them object of attack and persecution, not only immoral and illegal, but also abhorrent to our sensibilities and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable,” The statement read in part.
On the call for the declaration of a state of emergency, the spokesman said, “We call on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency in the frontline states of Taraba, Kaduna, Benue and Zamfara and suspend the current political structures in those states and replace them with sole administrators until conditions improve.”
Stating that the Federal Government should take the blame for failing to act promptly when the crisis started, members of the coalition demanded that government must bring all the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to book no matter how highly placed.
To show commitment to enforcing the rule of law, the group suggested that government should publish the names of those killed during the course of the conflict, name and punish sponsors and perpetrators of the various acts of criminality.
They also demanded that compensation be paid to victims of these crimes in all affected areas, while calling on government to take immediate steps to disband all militia and armed groups by every means necessary in order to ensure that non-state actors did not have the capacity to challenge the state in its constitutional duty of ensuring the safety of lives and property.
“We vehemently reject recent calls for the establishment of state police, which obviously is a recipe for disaster.
“The state police is just a licence for the state governors to formalise their militia and set them to hound opponents and assist in organising sham elections. We also view it as a ploy by the Federal Government to abdicate its responsibilities and thus must be resisted by all and sundry.”
The group’s spokesman also alleged that the crisis in North-Central geopolitical zone was the handiwork of enemies of the North.
“If the mutual respect and peace which have evaded us throughout this country’s independent existence cannot be achieved at this point, we would all be left with no choice but to support the suggestion for the conduct of a referendum so that each component can peacefully decide its fate,” he said.