The Evangelical Church Win All (ECWA) has sounded the alarm, saying terrorist groups are tactically expanding their activities and making inroads elsewhere in the North.
At a press conference in Jos on Wednesday on the insecurity ravaging the country, ECWA President Dr. Stephen Panya said: “Boko Haram and ISWAP have destroyed tens of thousands of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Nigerians and many Christian and Christian communities have been deliberately attacked and destroyed.
“It is clear that these terrorist groups are gradually but tactically expanding their activities and making inroads into other parts of the north and even further afield, and the apparent lack of unity in the fight against these terrorist groups and the inability of the government to act accordingly. decisively with them in the shortest possible time has encouraged them to wreak more havoc. “
He warned that deteriorating security in Nigeria where farmers are unable to go to their farm for fear of attacks will further destroy Nigeria’s already depressed economy.
He explained that agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in terms of employment and strategic contribution to the general well-being of citizens, and considering that unemployment fuels increased insecurity as many of the young unemployed turn to crime, Nigeria will continue to experience a vicious cycle of insecurity if challenges are not addressed quickly.
Panya observed that Fulani herdsmen and farmers had always had conflicts, which were easily resolved, but that the magnitude and dimension of recent conflicts shows that there was more than just a conflict over water and grass.
“What we see today is simply terrorism disguised as a conflict between herders and farmers. Unless these murderous Fulani herdsmen are treated as terrorists, the situation will continue. Furthermore, the government’s apparent silence on its activities gives the impression of tacit support similar to what happened between the Omar Al-Bashir regime and the Janjaweed terrorists in Sudan. It is a well-known fact that this unholy alliance was what ultimately led to the rise of South Sudan. We must not allow this situation to repeat itself in Nigeria, ”he also warned.
He said that Miyetti Allah as a group had been the official and most vocal voice and force behind the activities of the murderous herdsmen, according to him they have not only given justifications for their terrorist activities, but they work hard, in addition to the narratives of some . high-ranking government officials, to be sold to local and international communities as victims of the recent bloodshed in Nigeria.
But the caliber of the weapons they use and the sophistry of their operations leave more questions than answers. It also leaves one puzzling how, for the first time in history, the ‘alleged victim’ is heavily armed with military grade weapons while the ‘alleged hostile communities’ are plagued by mass graves, refugee camps, and high economic impoverishment such as The result of paying millions of naira in ransom for his kidnapped relatives, if they are lucky enough to receive them alive. This is the case in southern Kaduna, Plateau State, Benue State and, in general, in the Christian-dominated Middle Belt region of Nigeria ”.
He added that “it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between Fulani herdsmen, bandits and even members of Boko Haram because their antics are basically the same, and it may be only the dominant underlying driving motives that may differ.
“While money is more of a driving force for bandits, land grabbing and territorial expansion are more dominant for the Fulani militia, and religious motives are more dominant for Boko Haram. However, statements by self-proclaimed negotiators and would-be mediators like Sheikh Gumi are clearly an effort to incite bandits into religious warfare.
According to him, the attempted assassination of the acting governor of Benue state, Dr. Samuel Ortom, amounts to introducing another very dangerous dimension to the security challenge, which if not handled properly and decisively, can threaten corporate existence. from Nigeria.