" ITREALMS: Benue genocide: Buhari, FG aware 17months before – Amb. Hagher


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Monday, January 08, 2018

Benue genocide: Buhari, FG aware 17months before – Amb. Hagher

The former Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, AmbassadorProfessor Iyorwuese Hagher has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government (FG) were aware of herdsmen attack on communities in Benue State, 17 months before execution, reports ITRealms.

Reacting to the New Year day attack by herdsmen suspected to be members of Miyetti Allah in Benue, the two-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Amb. Hagher in an open letter made available to ITRealms, disclosed that he had hinted President Buhari and his All Progressive Congress (APC) Federal Government of a likelihood of a terrible genocide across some five states, namely Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Southern Kaduna, and Southern Adamawa States.

“I had warned you of the possibility of a horrendous genocide in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Southern Kaduna, and Southern Adamawa States. I asked you to be proactive and stop the genocide that has been ongoing but which would burst out in the open and shock the world within 18 months,” he declared.

As said by Amb. Hagher, the Federal Government had  replied his letter on September, 28th 2016, and the reply was couriered to him in the United States, thanking me “immensely” which gave him the assurances that the advice would be heeded.

However, he lamented that “With the current situation on ground, I regret to now inform you that it is 17 months since my warning and prediction and your government did nothing to pre-empt or prevent the genocide.  The nomadic terrorists have finally accelerated the ethnic cleansing in Benue State. They have strategically moved against the Tiv, the largest minority ethnicity in northern Nigeria. These perpetrators believe that if they can ethnic cleanse the Tiv, then nobody can stand in their way to possess the land and carve a new geo-polity and demography for the middle-belt,” he said.

He expressed regrets that President Muhammadu Buhari has allowed the genocide in the Middle Belt to go on unimpeded, thus betraying his campaign promise to Nigerians that his government ‘‘will always act in time and not allow problems to irresponsibly fester.’’

Hagher also said that in letting the Benue genocide to take place, the Buhari government has acted irresponsibly and has allowed problems to fester and failed to act on time. "You have also failed to lead from the front; giving the impression that centrifugal forces around you are dictating vicious anti-people agenda!"

Equally, he expressed pain that the advice he gave President Buhari in a private memorandum dated July 30, 2016 was ignored.

Hagher, who was a second republic Senator on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), further reminded the President that “the protection of lives and property of the citizens is more important than your war against corruption! The protection of lives of citizens is the most sacred responsibility of the state and your presidency. Your government has failed woefully in this regard. Mr President there is no greater corruption than the government looking the other way while the strong bullies and kills the weak with impunity and pleasure!”

He bemoaned that in President Buhari’s passion to rid the country of corruption, he totally ignored nation building and ended up with a very divided country. “You have failed your immediate Northern constituency by your inability, failure or lack of the political will to end northern poverty through measures that enhance school enrolment, promote girl-child education, and revive dead industries.

Hagher, who is the Executive Director of African Leadership institute based in Ohio, USA, noted that Buhari became Nigeria’s president on the altar of northern unity when the northern minorities abandoned President Goodluck Jonathan to vote for him.  “You have now desecrated that altar. By refusing to arrest those that brutally butchered defenseless innocent Benue women and children, you have imperiled northern unity and taken sides with evil,” he told the President.

Many Nigerians, he told Buhari, think “you have failed the country by the lack of a clear vision and a lack of capacity to provide needed infrastructure and a composite holistic development; more significantly, they think you have failed to institute a political culture of integrity. You are often compared with the lone King Sisyphus of Ephyra who was punished by the gods to roll an immense border up the hill, only to watch it roll back down, then condemned to repeat the same rolling action forever. This is the picture people have in mind of your war against endemic corruption. You honestly deserve pity and prayers, but certainly not support for a second term.”

While acknowledging that President Buhari still has a horde of admirers, which still look up to him with great admiration, Amb. Hagher, though said, “the Benue genocide seriously questions your integrity, and your capacity to lead a plural modern state. Is there a rule of law in this country? Why does the Miyetti Allah act with so much impunity? Is this because this terrorist group claims you as their life patron? Do not accept the clamor of those who for their personal political reasons urge you to contest in the 2019 election to be a second term president! Mr. President, please rise above the impression being given that you are just another power obsessed and hungry politician! “

He advised President Buhari to “step aside and open the political space for another person to continue your war against corruption with a more comprehensive development program that Nigeria needs and deserves.”

“For now, modernize infrastructure and try to banish poverty. And while your party campaigns for 2019, take a sabbatical from partisanship and   build national unity, good governance and concentrate on getting rid of Boko Haram and the Herdsmen Terrorists. After all, great people are not great for winning elections; rather they are known to be great by the legacy they leave behind. With what legacy do you wish the country to remember you for? It is unfortunate that family members of those that were hacked to death will remember you as the genocide president,” he said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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