A former presidential spokesperson, Dr. Doyin Okupe has revealed that those responsible for incessant herdsmen killings in some parts of the country are not from Nigeria.
Okupe said that those responsible for the killings are a breakaway faction of Boko Haram that had actually teamed up with ISIS, noting that the killings were no longer a case of farmers/Fulani herdsmen clash.
The former presidential spokesman, speaking with Tribune, agreed with President Muhammadu Buhari on the premise that herdsmen responsible for killings in Nigeria were trained in Libya.
DAILY UPDATES recalls that Buhari had during his bilateral meeting with Donald Trump mentioned that herdsmen do not carry guns but only wielded sticks, and occasionally machetes.
He reiterated that the death of Gaddafi aggravated herdsmen crisis in Nigeria.
Okupe said: “Every sane Nigerian must be worried. I am more than worried. In fact, I’m perplexed. Something profoundly evil is going on in the country. The bloodletting is too much. The frequency and viciousness of the attack is confounding.
“What is more perplexing is that we cannot really see the efforts by the government to counter this evil. I have said it to many people and on my social media platforms that this is beyond Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes. I may be wrong and may be right. It no longer makes sense to assume that.
“I don’t think President Muhammadu Buhari was too much out of order—-perhaps he didn’t put it well when he said these are people trained by Muamar Ghadaffi. What he probably had meant to say was that people that were trained in Libya had come down and are wrecking havoc in our system. That would have been more credible.
“There is also a shade of opinion that what we are seeing is a breakaway faction of Boko Haram that has actually teamed up with ISIS. The signature we are seeing in these attacks is mindless killings, arson and massive destruction. This is so typical of ISIS operations. It is better for us as Nigerians and those who lead us to come to terms with this reality. They will not want to sound alarmed that we are not through with Boko Haram yet and we now have ISIS, which may bring panic.
“Let us speak the truth and let the devil be ashamed. We have ISIS operating in Nigeria and it is another form of extreme Islamic fundamentalism in a very vicious and dangerous form.
” If you look at it, Boko Haram is located in the North East and not going beyond the zone. But if you see what is going on now, we have some very serious attacks in Benue, Jos, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Kogi, Edo and Ekiti. That is no longer Fulani herdsmen attack.
“By my own understanding, the Fulani herdsman is very protective of his herds. He overreaches himself in the provision of food and water for the herds. I don’t see a Fulani man after having fed his cows, burning the farm in which the cows have eaten and going to the villagers that own the farms to kill and burn them. It doesn’t make any sense. That has gone beyond tendering cattle. It is something that is beyond 400-500 years. It has been from the time we existed here.
“These Fulani go around West Africa with their cattle in search of food and water. They metamorphosed into armed militias. If strange, it is not in conformity with what we have. And it is a misnomer to say there is a Fulani /farmers clash. A clash is when one group fights another. No farmer is clashing with herdsmen here.
“Unfortunately, the government is headed by a Fulani and tends to protect the image of other Fulanis that they are not killers. But there is no need to protect what is not true. If there is anything to protect, it should be the lives and properties of Nigerians. Impression is being given that it’s Fulani people that are involved in the mayhem. So government must try as much as possible to remove this toga.”