Herdsmen have accused Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of trying to destabilise Nigeria using the latest Amnesty International (AI)’s report on the farmer/herders’ conflicts.
The herders on the platform of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio-Cultural Association, have therefore, urged Nigerians to reject Atiku in the Feb.16 presidential election.
The National President of the Association, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, made the call at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
In the AI’s report released in December and entitled, “Harvest of Deaths: Three Years of Bloody Clashes Between Farmers and Herders”, the international organisation said the clashes claimed 3,641 lives in the past three years.
The organisation said the killings were fuelled by the “failure of authorities to investigate communal clashes and bring perpetrators to justice”, an allegation that the Federal Government has dismissed.
“Atiku weighed in on the report to attack the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for failing in its duty to protect the lives of its people who have witnessed many preventable deaths.”
Miyetti Allah came down hard on the former vice president, describing his reaction as “a naked dance in the market place”.
“We totally condemn the desperate vituperation of Atiku for lashing on the false Amnesty International report with the hope of garnering political capital from the farmers/herders conflict.
“We call on our members and peace-loving Nigerians not only to condemn him for the naked dance in the market place but to totally reject him as a presidential candidate.
“This is because his intentions are inimical to progress, development and peaceful coexistence of the country.”
The association’s leader said former President Olusegun Obasanjo should be blamed for “hoisting a shadowy character like Atiku as vice president on the nation, and now trying desperately to bring him back as president.”
The PDP’s candidate, he further alleged, “is surrounding himself with ethnic irredentists and hate speech merchants that have been profiling the Fulani race and calling for their genocide”.
Bodejo called on Buhari to direct the security agencies to place Atiku under surveillance for his alleged inciting statements against the herders.
“His statement as a presidential candidate is capable of destabilising the country, especially considering that he is currently surrounded by anarchists and hate speech merchants feeding on the lucrative industry of fake news and ethnic irrenditism.”
The association also condemned AI for releasing a “substantially false” report, which it said was intended to satisfy the organisation’s paymasters and further stoke the conflict.
The national president called on the Federal Government to closely monitor AI’s activities in the country, especially its sources of funding.