Dear President Buhari,
On January 4, 2016, between 12 and 38 people were killed in Udeni Ruwa, in Nasarawa State. On January 10, up to 45 were killed in Agatu, Benue State. On January 17, 3 herdsmen were killed by cattle rustlers in Gareji village in Taraba State. On January 23, between 30 and 60 people were killed, including a police DPO in Demsare, Wunamokoh, Dikajam and Taboungo, all in Adamawa State.
On February 2, another 7 people were killed in yet another early morning attack in Agatu, Benue State. On February 7, ten people were killed in Tom Anyiin, in Benue State. Four days later on February 11, two people were killed in Abbi, Enugu State, and nineteen were declared missing. They’ve not been found. Thirteen days after the festivities at Abbi, on February 24, somewhere between 300 and 500 Nigerians were killed in Agatu. As if that was not enough, on February 28, another nine people were killed in Agatu, including Musa Ademu, my driver’s brother, who was beheaded.
Then a few days after that, on March 7, eight people were killed in Logo, and the next day, 12 were killed in Mbaya-Tombo, both in Benue. Mbaya-Tombo suffered two more deaths on March 13, 2016, then fifteen more on March 17. On March 20, residents of Ossissa, in Ndokwa, Delta State fled their homes following attacks by cattle rearers. Six days later, on March 26, residents of Ugwunesi in Enugu State were left wondering if they were second class citizens as they were arrested for meeting over the problem. They were granted bail on April 1, after spending a week in unlawful detention. Then the violence went far South when on March 29, between 7 and 16 people were killed in Ohali-Elu, in Rivers State, for ‘stealing cows’.
Between April 3 and 4, there were violent protests in Tarka, Benue State, over the murder of an APC chieftain by Fulani herdsmen. Tarka General Hospital was also attacked during those two days. On April 9, Olu Falae, a former SGF, was attacked for the second time in a year, and a security guard was killed. This was in Ilado, in Ondo State. Then between 15 and 44 were killed in Angai, Dashole, Dori and Mesuma villages, all in Taraba State on April 10. On April 13, a herdsman was killed in a reprisal attack in Ilara-Mokin, in Ondo State. Showing that people are now taking matters into their own hands. Then on April 18, we got news that another 18 people had been killed in Moor, in Benue State.
Just a week ago, on April 20, soldiers were attacked in Agatu, Benue, and a policeman, Corporal Ebiakpo Akparakazi, was declared missing. To my knowledge, he still has not been found. Then yesterday, despite forewarnings, the attack at Ukpabi Nimbo, in Enugu State, which killed up to 20 souls.
To my knowledge, there have been only six arrests outside of 92 who were arrested in Abuja, 56 of who have escaped.
Your primary duty as C-in-C is to secure the lives of ALL Nigerians. All the dead are Nigerians. People you swore to protect. That you have not said a word about their fate, is a gross dereliction of duty. It’s one of two things Sir, either you let us know that you are incapable of protecting the lives of Nigerians which you swore to defend, and resign, or you kick your security team into shape. There really, are no other options. The only other option is eventual anarchy, and I am certain that having done so much to get into this office, that is not what you want to be remembered by.
Cheta Nwanze is journalist and information technology professional. He is a political activist and social affairs commentator. He tweets from @Chxta.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.