The person representing Kogi East in the Senate, Atai Aidoko, has reported an onslaught by suspected ‘Fulani herdsmen’ which, he said, claimed 32 lives in two local governments in Kogi State to the Senate.
Mr. Aidoko said 20 people were killed in Dekina Local Government Area, 12 in Omala while another five were maimed in the two areas.
Aidoko said the killings were carried out by Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday.
“The Senate notes that on Wednesday 14th March 2018, no fewer than 20 people were killed in a violent attack on the people of Dekina Local Government and 12 people gruesomely killed in Omala local government of Kogi state by Fulani herdsmen.
“The Senate is concerned that despite the widespread condemnation of the killings going on in other parts of the country, the perpetrators of this heinous crimes have not been arrested and persecuted by the Nigerian Police Force. This has led to the continuation of the killings in the country.
“The senate is worried that the incessant attack impedes all well-meaning efforts at peace building.”
However, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, cautioned Mr. Aidoko Ali against tagging the killers ‘Fulani herdsmen.’
“I want to give a perspective just for the guidance of this Senate. Before we went to Zamfara the impression I had and possibly all of these of us on the team was that Fulanis were fighting the Hausas. Or to say in a different way that the farmers were fighting with the herders. It was totally different.
“Armed bandits were killing both farmers and Fulanis. We must not allow ourselves to play into the hands of these criminals if we continue to use certain names or nomenclatures, we may be getting some people to sympathise with criminals.
“I will advise that we henceforth look at this people as armed bandits and criminals, if we say Fulani, the most innocent Fulani man will start to think this is against him and he would sympathise with them and not cooperate with us. Armed bandits can be anybody whether is Fulani, Igbo.”
He added that Nigerian security operatives are overstretched hence, their incapability of securing vulnerable areas.
Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi West, also charged the federal and state governments to take swift action on the development.