Nigeria's Senate summons President Buhari over church killings

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been summoned by the Senate over a spate of killings in the country's middle ...

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 2:51 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2018 2:51 PM

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been summoned by the Senate over a spate of killings in the country's middle belt.

The lawmakers are yet to set a date for the president's appearance but said violence in Nigeria's central states could lead to "serious crisis" in the country.

"We all know that the dimension this is taking can lead to serious crisis in this country. It means we need to take drastic action. We must say 'no'. These daily killings, have to stop," said Bukola Saraki, Nigeria's Senate leader.

Members of the country's lower parliament who had invited the President Wednesday also passed a vote of no confidence in service chiefs and security advisers, calling for their dismissal over their inability to protect Nigerians.

The lawmakers said could no longer watch "our people are murdered in cold blood" and urged government to increase security measures in affected areas.

"We also resolved to summon the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces President Muhammadu Buhari in order to answer pertinent questions concerning what the Executive is doing to put a decisive end to the spate of killings in different states of the Federation," said Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

Buhari's media aide did not immediately respond to CNN's request for a comment.

The president is currently on a two-day working visit to Bauchi State, in north central Nigeria, where he is commissioning road projects and an air force medical facility, according to local media reports.

In the latest wave of violence to hit the middle belt region in recent months, two priests and 17 worshippers were killed Tuesday when armed men attacked a Catholic church during early morning mass in a remote village in Benue state.

The attackers razed over 50 houses in an attempt to take over the community, state police said. State police spokesman Terver Akase told CNN the attackers were thought to be Fulani cattle herdsmen,

Bello Bodejo, head of the cattle herders association, Miyetti Allah, denied the group's involvement in the attacks.

He called on the police and security agencies to investigate and reveal the identities of the attackers to put an end to speculation about his group's involvement.

"We are condemning Tuesday's attack because it is not acceptable. But we want a thorough investigation because every time there is an attack in the middle belt, they say it is Fulani people that caused it," he said in a phone interview with CNN.

"Many Fulani herdsman are not educated or organized enough to speak out against these accusations and this is why socio-cultural organizations like ours are appealing to Nigerians to assist us to get to the root of these attacks."

The violence between the Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims, and farmers, who are predominantly Christians, in the central state dates back to 2013. According to the Global Terrorism Index, Fulani extremists killed over 2,500 Nigerians between 2012 and 2016.

Cattle herders have evicted farmers by initiating deadly attacks in Nigeria's middle belt, the report from the Institute for Economics & Peace, a non-profit think tank, said.

The expanding conflict between herders and farmers in the region led to the enforcement of anti-grazing laws by local governments , a move that has exacerbated tensions in affected states.

At least 72 people were killed in January following weeks of violence between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in the central part of the West African country.

Buhari, who is ethnically Fulani, has been widely criticized by Nigerians for his perceived silence over previous attacks in Benue state.

He visited the state in March to console families and communities involved and has vowed to bring those responsible for Tuesday's attack to justice.

"This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting," Buhari said in a tweet.

International Christian rights organizations have also spoken out about what they see as persecution of some Nigerians because of their faith.

David Curry, president of Open Doors Christian Rights group, condemned Tuesday's attacks and stated that Christians are being targeted in north and central states in Nigeria.

He urged US President Donald Trump to discuss these "religious attacks" during his meeting with Buhari later this month.

"President Buhari has done nothing more than issue empty words of condolence as villages have been burned and thousands of religious minorities have been slaughtered. His inaction has meant attacks by the Fulani are becoming more deadly and sophisticated," Curry said in a statement Wednesday.

Buhari will meet Trump in Washington April 30 to discuss ways of combating terrorism, promoting economic growth among other issues.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 34°
Angola
Broken Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 36°
Decatur
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 33°
Van Wert
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 33°
Snow/Rain Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events