The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in the United States has urged President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to immediately declare the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) as a terrorist organisation.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the NADECO USA office and made available to SaharaReporters on Sunday.
The group premised its call to Buhari on MACBAN's statements in the past, allegedly announcing responsibility for some killings and an attempt on the life of the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
NADECO alleged that the Miyetti Allah has been involved in banditry in northern Nigeria but that the Nigerian government has failed to take any action against the group.
According to the group, the Buhari-led government has rather gone after members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other groups in that category.
The statement read, “NADECO (USA) calls on Buhari administration to immediately declare Miyetti Allah as a terrorist organisation. Miyetti has mostly been responsible for the killings and slaughtering of innocent people in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, South-East, South-West, and South-South.
“Miyetti Allah has openly admitted these killings including an attempt on the life of the sitting governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. The Federal Government never uttered a word of condemnation for their criminal enterprise disguised as a cattle breeders association.
“Miyetti Allah has been neck-deep in banditry in the northern part of Nigeria without any reprisals from the government. This means that the Buhari administration acquiesces, even is a state sponsor of terrorism.
“Terrorism is basically defined as any act or threat of violence, whatever its motives or purposes, that occurs in the advancement of an individual or collective criminal agenda and seeks to sow panic among people, causing fear by harming them, or placing their lives, liberty or security in danger, or seeks to cause damage to the environment or public or private installations or property or to occupying or seizing them, or seeking to jeopardize national resources.
“Going by the above definitions, does Miyetti Allah not fall into the classification of a terrorist organisation? The federal government of Nigeria would rather prefer IPOB to be classified as a terrorist organisation. If this is not a classic example of a double standard, please tell the Nigerian people what is?
“Now let's take a look at the UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004) which defines terrorism as any criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organisation to do or to abstain from doing any act.
“A UN panel on March 17, 2005, described terrorism as any act 'intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act'.
“Miyetti Allah has terrorised the Nigerian population for far too long now. They issue press releases and ultimata with unprecedented impunity. The question Nigerians and the international community want an answer to is: where is Miyetti Allah deriving their impunity, from the presidency?
“If the Nigerian government fails or refuses to formally declare Miyetti Allah as a terrorist organisation, then the Nigerian people shall call on the international community to formally declare Buhari administration as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“Finally, the International Community is hereby put on notice, that the declaration of Miyetti Allah ('Praise God' in Fulfude, Fulani language) a purported cattle breeders association–As a terrorist organisation by Nigerian Government, apprehending and holding to account its leadership –is a minimum irreducible step in abating most acts of terrorism unleashed on Nigerian people over the last six (6) of Mohammed Buhari's Presidency."
The group, therefore, sought the support of the international community "in preventing a final collapse of the Nigerian state, now a rogue state, and the resulting destabilising consequences of a deluge of refugees and displaced persons in an inevitable war situation amongst 200 million Nigerian people”.