…….As fresh video footage before the Agatu massacre emerges
An intelligence analyst group, SB Morgen has revealed that the threat posed by marauding Fulani herdsmen to the unity of Nigeria is far greater than that of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
This is even as a fresh video obtained by SBM Intelligence showed boats of fully armed men crossing the River Benue en-route the Agatu attack.
According to report released by the group, in 2015, ‘there were more casualties from herdsmen violence than from Boko Haram.
‘In 2016, there have been twenty-one attacks that SBM Intelligence has been able to independently verify, with the number of victims ranging between 526 and 820.
‘This shows a clear escalation from the already alarming 2015 numbers. What is increasingly becoming likely is that as government continues to fail to protect the people, as was shown in Borno with the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), people will resort to self-help to protect themselves.
‘What this means is that the most potent threat to the existential continuity of the Nigerian state has shifted from Boko Haram to the rampaging Fulani herdsmen.”
The group went on to lament the nonchalant attitude from security agencies towards intelligence reports.
‘What many do not know, however, is that the bloody incident could have been averted, if prompt and decisive action had been taken.
‘Prior to the Agatu attack, it was learnt that the villagers became apprehensive when they observed the movement of large numbers of armed-to-the-teeth Fulani herdsmen around the area.
‘They informed Cornel Onwubuya, the Chairman of the Transition Committee, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area, and also informed the state government and the leadership of the State Police Command.
‘Onwubuya summoned an emergency stakeholders meeting at the Uzo Uwani Local Government where the leaders of the Hausa-Fulani in the community assured the natives that no such attack will take place. All these transpired over the weekend and by Monday morning the attack happened.
‘If the foregoing is accurate, then the authorities had prior information regarding the impending holocaust. The question is, what did the authorities do to avert the impending catastrophe?
In a related development, a fresh video obtained by SBM Intelligence showed boats of fully armed men crossing the River Benue en-route the Agatu attack.
According to analysts consulted by SBM Intelligence, the men in the video spoke Fulfude, Hausa, Gurma and Zarma, the last two being languages indigenous to Nigeria’s northern neighbour, the Republic of Niger.
‘This lends weight to the belief that a lot of these attacks are being carried out by people foreign to Nigeria, and questions the ability of our security services to police our country, given how far inland this river crossing took place. The distance between the suspected crossing point and the nearest border crossing in Katsina is 802 km!
‘The video was reportedly made on the morning of the Agatu attack, by one of the attackers. The same man took part in the Logo attack two weeks later where he was killed and the video was found on a mobile phone retrieved from his body’ the Intelligence Report added.
Recall that in the early hours of Monday, April 25th, 2016, destruction was unleashed upon Ukpabi-Nimbo, a sleepy village in Uzo-Uwani LGA of Enugu State. Scores of heavily armed Fulani herdsmen executed a ferocious attack on the community, killing dozens and seriously injuring a large number of others.
According to eye-witnesses, at least 50 people were killed, and about 30 were seriously injured by the time the attack was over. Some witnesses who spoke to SBM Intelligence said that up to 20 corpses were taken to the morgue at Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, while up to 30 wounded people, are currently receiving treatment.
This came on the heels of a similar attack on Agatu Local Government Area of Benue state where no fewer than 300 persons were reported to have been killed in a renewed outbreak of violence.
The attacks were carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen in various part of the local government.
The affected villages include Okokolo, Akwu, Ocholonya, Adagbo, Ugboku and Aila, which were completely burnt down by the attackers.