European Parliament to Buhari: Protect your people
The European Paerliament has adopted a resolution calling on President Buhari’s administration to defend its citizens from terrorism and address the root causes of the violence by ensuring equal rights for all citizens and non-discriminatory legislation.
The EU Parliament resolution (2018/2513(RSP), sponsored by 102 Members of European Parliament, (MEPs) in the 17-point joint resolution, expressed concern about increasing inter-ethnic conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in the Middle Belt, which it claimed had increased the security challenges in the country.
The EU parliament further noted that the New Year day killings in Omoku, Rivers State, underlined the worrying situation of people of faith in the country.
The resolution said Christians and Muslims have increasingly been targeted in indiscriminate killings across the country.
The resolution read in part: ‘’EU Parliament is deeply concerned by the increasing interethnic conflicts between pastoralists and farmers in the Middle Belt region which have increased the security challenges already facing Nigeria, and regrets the lack of real progress in addressing these issues; ‘’Strongly condemns the increase in violence against Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, including the targeting of religious institutions and worshippers, such as the recent killing of at least 48 Christians in villages across Plateau State and the bombing of a mosque in Mubi, northeast Nigeria, in which at least 50 people died;
‘’Calls on President Buhari and the Nigerian government to increase their efforts to bring the violence to an end, defend Nigerians’ right to worship freely and protect the rights of all their citizens more rigorously, in line with the country’s laws and Constitution; extends its condolences to the families of all the victims of the ongoing violence;
‘’Recalls, in addition, that until the 1970s, the coexistence of herdsmen and farmers was peaceful and regrets that the current violence, which concerns access to land and has been exacerbated by the disappearance of effective mediation schemes, is being depicted as a religious conflict, which oversimplifies the issue;
‘’Urges the government to focus on upholding human rights and dignity in all policies to ensure peaceful coexistence among citizens irrespective of their religion, beliefs and political affiliations; ‘’Urges the Nigerian government to negotiate a national policy framework that would protect the interests of both farmers and herders and calls on international partners to increase investment in preventing and resolving inter-communal conflicts between cattle pastoralists and farmers by supporting cooperation through shared economic and natural resource management initiatives; ‘’Deplores the ongoing violence and attacks in northern Nigeria, whose targets have been Christian communities; notes that Boko Haram has attacked Muslim, Christian and other faiths indiscriminately; ‘’Notes that the Nigerian military has recaptured territory from Boko Haram and arrested some of its members, but that the Government’s non-military efforts to stop Boko Haram remain nascent;
‘’Urges the Buhari Government to defend its citizens from terrorism, but insists that such actions must be conducted in full accordance with respect for human rights and the rule of law; commends the progress made by the Buhari Government on the security challenges facing Nigeria and in addressing corruption; offers its support in achieving this objective and in seeking to sever the link between corrupt practices and terrorism.