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Nigerians in Diaspora, others write U.S. Secretary of State, urge global action against Fulani killer herdsmen in Nigeria

  • Urge U.S., allies to reject former Service Chiefs now Ambassadors-nominee from their countries

A group of professionals of Nigerian descent resident in the United States of America and their friends around the world have written to the new U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken, calling on him to lead a global coalition to stop “the threat of Killer herdsmen in Nigeria.”

The group also implored the “the U.S. to urge its allies not to accept letters of credence from Nigeria’s retiring military Chiefs who recently named ambassadors ostensibly to grant them immunity from war crimes.”  

The letter was signed by 110 people from U.S., South Africa, Germany, Canada, Tchad, Ireland, Malaysia, Niger, UK, Australia, Grenada and Burkina Faso.

The group said it is “deeply saddened to inform you that a Nigerian American (Georgia-based Dennis Aduba) who visited Nigeria over the New Year holiday was murdered as he headed back to America.

Mr Aduba was abducted for ransom on the way to catch his Lagos-Atlanta Delta Flight by alleged Fulani herdsmen and “brutally murdered” despite the payment of a ransom.

It told Secretary Blinken that “the existential threat that the situation in Nigeria presents, of which the vicious Herdsmen militia’s atrocities are just a part, cannot be overemphasized. It goes far beyond threats to the sub-region.”

It then went on to tabulate what it refers to as “few instances of direct threats posed by Fulani militia to American and western allies.”

They include the following:

  • In 2017, the first US military casualties in West Africa were caused by a Fulani terrorist who killed four US Green Berets in the nation of Niger in an ambush using cows. They were Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39; Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29 and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25.
  • Also in 2017, two German Archeologists were abducted by Fulani Herdsmen in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
  • In 2018, four American and Canadian citizens were abducted in Nigeria’s  Kaduna state by a Fulani group and only released for a ransom.
  • In 2019, A British aid worker, Faye Mooney, who worked for America Humanitarian organization Mercy Corps was killed in Kaduna State as a Fulani group attempted to abduct her.
  • In 2020, barely three months ago, US Navy Seals rescued missionary Philip Walton from Nigeria where he was hidden by the Fulani group who abducted him in Niger.
  • In 2021 already, Nigerian-American Dennis Abuda was killed the same week three Chinesemen were also abducted in Southern Nigeria.

They stated that the “international ramifications of these Fulani militia attacks pale in comparison to the systematic State-sanctioned murder and plunder Nigerians are going through. Hordes of Fulani militia from across the region, crisscross international borders at will, descending on innocent Christian communities in north central and southern Nigeria and against non-Fulani Muslims and Christians in northwest Nigeria leaving a trail of death, destruction, rape, mass displacement and food shortage.

“Tribal and religious tensions are at an all-time high with simultaneous protests across the south against occupation by Fulani marauders as the Fulani-dominated federal government condones and enables brazen impunity. Like the US, Nigeria is a key continental power and strategic partner but also like the US, internal schisms and internecine conflict would be its greatest vulnerability and undoing.

They therefore urged Secretary Blinken “to elevate the situation in Nigeria to top priority” in order to “prevent another genocide 50 years after the horrific Biafra civil war.”

Blinken was reminded that “two months ago, your predecessor acceded to our request and designated Nigeria a country of particular concern (CPC) for egregious religious persecution. However sanctions against Nigeria were waived. We urge the reversal of the waiver until the Fulani-dominated regime of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari shows appropriate care and concern for the safety and security of its citizens and foreign nationals who have been victimized by his tribesmen.

“Mr Secretary, the tired narrative that this is merely a contest over land by farmers and herders is debunked by all the instances of international victims listed above and should be retired. Climate change affects us all and it is no justification for the horrendous killings and displacement of thousands of people each year.”

They implored the U.S. Secretary of State “to make it a priority to visit Nigeria unlike your predecessor” and take the issues raised with Nigeria’s incoming Ambassador to the U.S., Dr Uzoma Emenike.

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