Buhari defends Fulani Herdsmen before Trump
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, spoke in defense of Fulani herdsmen when he had a bilateral talk with the United States President on Monday at the Washington, insisting that the Nigerian herdsmen “don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a matchet to cut down foliage and give it to their animals, these ones are carrying AK-47”
Buhari did not pay any tribute to the many Nigerians recently murdered by the herdsmen in parts of Nigeria. On Sunday, Christians across Nigeria observed a peaceful protest to draw world attention to killings and persecution of Christians in the country.
But Trump noted sternly that Washington is aware of the killing and murdering of Christians Nigeria, warning that the U.S cannot allow that to continue.
“We’re deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria, including the burning of churches and the killing and persecution of Christians” Trump said.
Between January and now, more than 200 persons, mostly Christians have been murdered by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State, North-Central Nigeria alone. It is also happening simultaneously in other parts of the country especially in the north.
The latest was the killing of two priests and 17 worshippers in Gwer Local Government Area of Benue last week.
Buhari said; “The problem of herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing. The Nigerian herders don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a matchet to cut down foliage and give it to their animals, these ones are carrying AK-47.
“So, people should not underrate what happened in Libya. 43 years of Ghaddaffi, people were recruited from Sahel and trained to shoot and kill. With the demise of Ghaddaffi they moved to other countries and region and carried the experience with them.”
President Buhari also thanked the United States for its support in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and its efforts in trying to get rid of terrorism across the world.
“We are grateful to the United States for agreeing to give us the aircraft that we asked for. We are even more grateful for the physical presence of the United States military officials in Nigeria. Our institutions in Nigeria, for training them and going to the Northeast to see how they are performing”, Buhari said.
“The commitment of the United States to get rid of terrorism across the world, we have fast earned experience from that and we are grateful for it.”
President Buhari was said to have arrived the White House at around 12 noon on Monday. He was accompanied by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sylvanus Nsofor, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Trade and Investment, and Governors of Plateau and Ogun.
Others on the delegation were Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, Senate Committee Chair on Foreign Affairs, Monsurat Sunmonu and her House of Representatives counterpart, Nnenna Ukejie.