Nasarawa airstrike: MACBAN says Buhari, military’s silent after ‘war crime’

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has condemned the silence of the Federal Government and the military since the death of over 40 pastoralists and butchers in Nasarawa State.

A statement on Saturday by the Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Abdullahi said the body wants an explanation over the “seemingly intentional killings” in Rukubi village under Doma Local Government Area.

MACBAN described the posture of the authorities to the January 25th incident as reprehensible and a lack of regard for the loss of lives of ordinary Nigerians.

The deceased went to Makurdi earlier in the day to retrieve their 1,250 cows earlier impounded by the Benue State livestock guards after paying a fine of N29 million.

Abdullahi said they “are victims of high handedness” of the Benue government and the officers of the Makurdi-based Operation Whirl Stroke “who deployed an aircraft/drone that killed the innocent pastoralists”.

“If nothing, we expect the President to commiserate with the families of the victims of this heinous crime.”

MACBAN said the Rukubi shelling was the third in one year, citing previous “bombing of pastoralists and livestock in Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba States”.

“The recent killings constitute a war crime and a panel of inquiry must be constituted to find out on whose authority the drone/aircraft was used and punish the culprits.”

MACBAN said it holds the Benue government liable, insisting the trucks carrying the livestock “were closely monitored until they reached the destination before the armed drone was unleashed”.

The herders’ leadership found it shameful that “while people were being killed, the President was enjoying a state dinner in Katsina State”

Abdullahi stressed that those who died were bona fide citizens whose fundamental human rights recognised by the Constitution must be protected.

“The loss of one life is bad enough, not to talk of over 40 innocent lives in a single swoop. This is an unacceptable and most despicable crime against humanity.”

The statement urged the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the case and others involving aerial attacks by the Air Force in Nasarawa.

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