Agatu

Group Links Herdsmen Financing to Money Laundering and Terrorism in Nigeria

A coalition of some civil society groups, the Minority Interest Rights Advocates in Nigeria (MIRAN) has called on the federal and states governments of Benue and Nassarawa to immediately constitute an all-inclusive panel of enquiry in their respective states on the Agatu massacre and bring the sponsors and perpetrators of the heinous crimes against humanity to justice.

Speaking after an emergency meeting held in Abuja the FCT to deliberate on the state of insecurity in the country, the group led by Comrade Iyah Iyah who is the executive director of CDLE Nigeria chided the recent position of the Northern Governors Forum on the criminal activities of herdsmen in all parts of the country and accused them of being economical with the truth and clannish with the facts as it were with the Boko Haram issues during the last administration.

The group advised the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari to seek counsel and advice outside his political ranks and associates in order to address the conundrum, while stating that security is too important an issue to be left in the hands of government operatives and politicians to address.

The group expressed its disappointment with the state governments of Benue and Nassarawa, the Minister of Interior and Inspector General of Police (IGP) accusing them of deliberate incompetence and administrative politicking.

MIRAN lauded the successes recorded in the north-east against Boko Haram by the Nigerian military but warned that the feats achieved on that front are being eroded by the activities of the so called herdsmen in other parts of the country.

The leadership of the National Assembly and the Nigerian president were not spared; the group accused them of being selective as they were silent when the Idoma minority ethnic group in Agatu areas of Benue state were being massacred and their lands occupied by the Fulani herdsmen in their hundreds and only came out aloud after the Ukpabi Nimbo community of Uzowani local government area of Enugu state killings, which shows how minority rights and lives are usually taken for granted by the Nigerian establishments.

The group went further, looking into the patterns of insecurity in Nigeria and exhaustively examined the federal governments mechanism to govern it within the paradigms of its anti-corruption fight and advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to critically look into cattle herds financing as it can be inextricably linked to money laundering and possible terror financing in Nigeria.

Conclusively, the group stated that the Nigerian state’s monopoly of power has been eroded and replaced by the changing alliances of the various security and government players and vowed to continuously champion causes for the rights of minorities in Nigeria.

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