By Joseph Ibata
For speaking against the killings of farmers by Fulani herdsmen and for accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of shielding criminal herdsmen in Nigeria, the life of a journalist, Comrade Chukwujindu Chukwuemeka John, is in danger.
The dogged journalist, Comrade Chukwujindu Chukwuemeka John has been a strong voice against the killings of farmers and destruction of their farm land by Fulani Herders. He has on many occasions harped on the need for security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities of resisting attacks on unsuspecting farmers especially women who are vulnerable to these herders who had hitherto had a field day raping old and young women on their farms.
The broadcast journalist who through his radio programme “the platform” had consistently raised concerns over the insensitivity of President Buhari to the plight of the farmers, harped on the fact that none of the Fulani herdsmen who were arrested for either killing or raping innocent persons especially those caught with sophisticated weapons have been prosecuted.
He had on several occasions when invited to speak in public lectures organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Delta State Council challenged security agencies to provide evidence of prosecution of any Fulani herdsmen across the nation, even as he alleged that they were being protected by the President because they are his kinsmen.
Moved by the reoccurring attacks on farmers in the farm land and the destruction of their farms by the Fulani herdsmen, Comrade Chukwujindu had through his radio programme identified the fact that the Federal government and security agencies in Nigeria had tactically ignored “SOS” messages by affected communities across the nation, where by creating room for the herders to carry out killing sprees.
Recently, the governors of the Southern States, in Nigeria placed a ban on open grazing, and directed the State Houses of Assembly to enact a law backing the pronouncements by the governors. This however did not go down will with the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, who has bared his mind against the moves by the governors through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria Abubakar Malami.
He said, “It’s about constitutionality. Within the context of the freedoms enshrined in our constitution, can you deny a right of a Nigerian?
“For example, it’s as good as saying the northern governors coming together to say they forbid spare parts trading in the north. Does it hold water?”
The AGF said the announcement by the southern governors does not hold water, and that they should seek to amend the constitution instead.
The minister said the governors must approach the National Assembly and get the necessary support to amend the constitution before they can take such a huge action on constitutionally-backed liberties.
Reacting to the Minister’s comment, Comrade Chukwujindu through his radio programme “the platform” said the move by the Federal Government was aimed at ensuring renewed onslaught of farmers by Fulani herdsmen, warning that if left unabated, it would lead to acute food shortage in the southern region of the country.
He vowed never to give up in ensuring that farmers, and their farmlands were protected from criminal herdsmen, even as he appealed to the federal government to come to the aide of farmers in the region who have no other means of livelihood other than farming.
Comrade Chukwujindu’s woes started when the criminal Fulani herdsmen traced him to his house in his village, Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area at midnight in October last year to assassinate him. When the assassins did not find him, they destroyed his properties and carted away his pictures which were circulated to all Fulani herders camp across the country as intelligence reports later revealed.
In a desperate move to silence Comrade Chukwujindu from speaking up against the Federal Government’s ineptitude over the wanton killing of farmers by herders, the broadcast journalist has been accosted, by yet to be identified security personnel, who warned him to stop speaking against the the wanton killing of farmers by Fulani gunmen or risk loosing his life.
Comrade Chukwujindu has also used his radio platform to speak against the injustices against the Ibos who are calling for the Republic of Biafra. He had on several occasions spoken against the dictatorship of the Nigeria President whom he said was doing everything possible to gag the press and silence any opposing voices.
The Delta State born broadcast journalist also narrowly escaped a major assassination attempt on the 3rd of May, 2021 when he was returning from Lagos to Asaba and was attacked by herdsmen who fired many bullets at his car somewhere in Edo State, the incident being one of the many attacks made on his life in recent times.
Worried by the series of attempts on his life by the criminal herdsmen, Comrade Chukwujindu has continued to call on the Civil Societies to prevail on the President Muhammadu Buhari to provide 24 hours protection for him, his wife and two children, a request which has not yet received any favourable response.