By Coddratus Godson
Nigeria’s former Defence Minister and one time chief of army staff, Lt general Theophilus Danjuma, will on Wednesday address the British House of Lords on the attacks on the middle belt and the consequences.
The proposed address has received huge support from groups in the region who think Danjuma was fighting harder for them. Others have however pointed at weaknesses in the new campaign; that it was the same British that deliberately hoisted an unbalanced system of administration in Nigeria; that it was same Danjuma that was accused few years back of using the military to suppress the Tiv for his Jukun kinsmen. The combined effect of the two points is that what is happening today may be a result of the actions taken in the past.
Danjuma was said to have been invited to address the British House of Lords on how the attacks have been affecting ethnic minorities especially in the North. He will be hosted by Lord Alton of Liverpool and Baroness Cox of Queenbury.
The former Chief of Army Staff will be joined by the Anglican Bishop of Jos, Archbishop Ben Kwashi.
Reacting to Danjuma’s invitation by British lawmakers, President of Middle Belt Indigenous Peoples Congress, Mr Abukar Abuka, in a statement, said: “We see the positive responses of Lt Gen Danjuma as a trait of effective leadership far beyond puerile press statements associated with many opportunistic and self serving groups. He is reaching out on our behalf. He is talking to international communities.”
He added that: “Danjuma is not bogged down by electoral politics but showing concern for the future of his people. That is a good leader we cherish.”
Last Tuesday, about 95 houses were burnt by persons suspected to be armed herdsmen while eight people including three children were killed.
The victims included a clergy man and his wife, who was killed in her bathroom.
The Tuesday attack was the third this year.
In June, over 150 people were killed in Barkin Ladi, the Jos local government area where the last killing took place.
International observers have put the number of deaths since the crisis began to at least 5000 people including women and children.