By EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
The International Federation of Women Lawyers have expressed their willingness to protect Nigerian women against further attacks by herdsmen.
In a statement signed by its national president, Inime Aguma and publicity secretary Princess Frank Chukwuani, the association expressed hers “preparedness within our mandate to support all legitimate efforts and to do everything within our power and the law to ensure the protection of the rights of women and children everywhere in our country Nigeria”
Below is the text of the press release.
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS (FIDA) NIGERIA PRESS RELEASE ON THE BENUE KILLINGS BY THE FULANI HERDSMEN
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria is an Organisation made up of women called to practise of law in Nigeria, with a mandate to enhance, preserve, protect and promote the rights of women and children in Nigeria.
FIDA Nigeria seeks to express her revulsion and grave sorrow at the activities of the Fulani Herdsmen, particularly on the recent Benue killings which claimed numerous lives, loss of property and caused great harm to the people of Benue State, especially their women and children. Women and children are amongst the most vulnerable groups in society and in an insecure society, they are the ones who suffer most. They are the most easily targeted and the most gruesomely violated.
While the herdsmen are of the opinion that they are within their rights to graze cattle on the lands within the Nigerian territory, they must also recognise that these lands are subject to laws which clearly define ownership rights. FIDA Nigeria therefore condemns these barbaric activities of the Herdsmen in the strongest terms, for being cruel, inhuman, degrading and a violation of the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Benue State.
While we recognise that Civil Societies and the State Government have made efforts to proffer solutions to the situation such as calls for anti-grazing laws, grazing curfews, ranching, colonies and so on, these killings are still on the rise and it is clear that no suitable solutions have been implemented. FIDA Nigeria therefore make a direct call on the Federal Government to recognise that the onus falls on them to preserve and protect the rights and properties of its citizens at all times.
Despite the focus on the recent Benue killings, it must be recognised that the herdsmen attacks have not been limited to Benue State alone, since 2012, we have persistently been daunted with reports of their activities in other states of the Federation which we strongly frown at. We can no longer sit back idly and wait for the Federal Government to decide when it is ready to act.
FIDA Nigeria declares her preparedness within our mandate to support all legitimate efforts and to do everything within our power and the law to ensure the protection of the rights of women and children everywhere in our country Nigeria.
God bless and keep the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
God bless the people of Nigeria!!!
God bless the women and children of Nigeria!!!
Dated this 25th day of January 2018.