The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, CESJET, has written the United State Embassy and the British High Commission over the nagging crises between herders and farmers in Nigerian, which had led to the death of many Nigerian and destruction of valuables worth millions of naira.
CESJET in a letter addressed to the international bodies, lamented that the needless killings of innocent Nigerians as a result of clashes between herders and farmers could have been averted if the N100bn allegedly approved by the immediate past government was never siphoned by some selfish individuals.
Isaac Ikpa, Executive Secretary of the centre in the letter signed and obtained by our reporter on Wednesday, called on the international bodies to assist the government of Nigeria in identifying those individuals that have stashed ill-gotten wealth outside the shores of the country.
Ikpa, in the letter further appealed to the international community to assist the government of Nigeria in extraditing unpatriotic Nigerians that have caused untold human and economic losses through their actions and inactions.
The letter reads below:
We are by this letter seeking the urgent intervention of the United Nations, the Ambassador of the United States of America, and the British High Commissioner in the frequent herdsmen and farmers conflict that has engulfed some parts of country in recent times.
The increasing clashes between farmers and pastoralists have recently become worrisome, especially in wetland areas of the Middle Belt, and North Central Nigeria.
The ongoing conflict is costing Nigeria at least $16 billion in potential revenues annually.
Farmers have accused the Fulani herdsmen of failing to control their cattle and of damaging crops. In turn, the Fulani accuse farmers of stealing their cattle.
With an estimated death toll of approximately 2,000 to 3000 between 2016 to date, the clashes are becoming as potentially dangerous as the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east.
The present conflict is an economic and environmental problem. Some politicians and unpatriotic Nigerians have turned it to a political game of chess with the sole aim of scoring political gains at the detriment of peace and economic stability in Nigeria.
Politicians, especially members of the opposition have turned the herdsmen/farmer conflict into an easy to ‘sell’ and ‘buy’ commodity for the campaign, as 2019 elections are approaching.
Monies meant for security concerns were stolen without regards for the future implications.
Policy decisions that were intended to serve the interest of the country at large were replaced with decisions that were self-serving to only a few, thereby causing a crisis of unimaginable proportions, including the herdsmen/farmers conflict.
Sometime in 2014, a massive amount of money was released for the construction of mini ranches across the country as a preventive step towards curbing the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
But this monies were embezzled by those saddled with the positions of authorities as no single ranch was ever constructed anywhere and this has made the conflict to fester thereby resulting in both human and economic losses.
It is succinct to state that, the previous administration created the monster that the country is experiencing now, as available reports indicates so.
Those saddled with political positions of authority in the last administration of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, were reckless in the abuse of office, mismanagement of public funds meant for critical government projects and general mismanagement of the affairs of the country, thereby leaving the country divided along ethnic and religious lines.
Of particular mention is the case of N100 billion that was approved and released for the construction of mini ranches. Till date, not a single ranch was constructed and all of the monies spirited away and stashed in foreign bank accounts at the detriment of the peace and stability in Nigeria.
Political detractors of the current administration have hijacked the conflict and sponsored attacks to discredit the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari because the opposition in any democracy intends to weaken the incumbent as much as possible and the opposition members in Nigeria has identified security as one of the strong points of this present administration.
It is also worthy of mention that since they have stashed stolen monies in foreign accounts, they continually constitute themselves into stumbling blocks in the progress of Nigeria by sponsoring violence, inciting the populace into taking to violent actions and deliberating instigating religious and ethnic tension in the country.
Consequently, we are by this letter seeking the intervention of the representative of the United Nations, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria in the flowing ways:
Assist the government of Nigeria in identifying those individuals that have stashed ill-gotten wealth outside the shores of the country.
Assist the government of Nigeria in repatriating these funds meant for public concerns back to the country
Assist the government of Nigeria in the prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of these unpatriotic Nigerians that have committed crimes against humanity in Nigeria and causing deaths by abusing public office and betrayal of trust
Assist the government of Nigeria in extraditing unpatriotic Nigerians that have caused untold human and economic losses through their actions and inactions.