Council of Bishops, former minister, others react

Outspoken Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain Femi Fani-Kayode, has condemned the death sentence on five persons who were accused of killing a Fulani herdsman allegedly in self-defence in Adamawa State, wondering if “Nigeria is an apartheid state where the herdsmen are above the law”.
Femi-Kayode  was adding his voice to the issue of the court judgement, including those of the World Council of Bishops who had written to President Muhammadu Buhari to spare the five Christians.
A Yola High Court in Adamawa State had sentenced five men in Kodomun to death by hanging for murdering a Fulani herdsman, reportedly in retaliation for the killings of Christians in the area.
Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, after they were accused of attacking three Fulani herdsmen and killing one of them, Adamu Buba. The Fulani’s body was apparently thrown into a river.
The Supreme Council of Bishops, also known as World Council of Bishops, had directly written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to spare the five Christians.
The bishops said in the letter that Nigeria “has suffered untold bloodshed from killings, maiming, traumatization of innocent citizens around the northeastern, north central and Middle Belt states, as a result of the frequent attacks by the militia herdsmen times without number.”
Fulani herdsmen have been carrying out escalating attacks on Christians and other civilians over the past several months, killing hundreds of believers each month this year, according to International Christian Concern and other persecution watchdog groups.
Femi Fani-Kayode, a  former Minister of Aviation, said that more than 5,300 Christians have died in 2018 alone.
Kayode spoke out against the judge that sentenced the Christians, who he said were defending themselves from “Fulani terrorists.”
“The jihadists who killed the RCCG evangelist for preaching in Abuja were set free. The ones who killed Bridget, the Deeper Life Pastor’s wife in Kano, were set free,” the politician said, pointing to numerous cases of suspected Fulani killers going free.The bishops’ letter, which was sent from the World Episcopal Headquarters in Texas, and was routed through the Africa Episcopal Headquarters, Lagos,  insisted that Nigeria is not handing out justice.
“Till date no adequate justice had been meted out on them commensurate to the lives and property lost,” they wrote, referring to Fulani attacks on villages.
It added that “what our nation Nigeria sues for now in our nascent democracy is peace and tranquility, and not otherwise.”
Christians have continued to face nearly daily attacks in some regions, such as central Nigeria.
Two Christian men were hacked to death by radical herdsmen as they were going home last week following worship at the Evangelical Church Winning All in Kwall village, Plateau state.
“Fulani herdsmen have continued to kill innocent Christians in our villages, yet the Nigerian government has not taken proactive measures to end the onslaught,” said resident Lawerence Zango.