Benue Journalists Call On Buhari To Act On Terrorist Fulani Herdsmen
A Press Release by the Association of Benue Journalists (ABJ) dated January 4, 2018 as its response to the New Year Day Killings of 33 people in Guma and Logo Local Governments of Benue State by suspected herders.
The Association of Benue Journalists (ABJ) is urging the Federal Government of Nigeria to clampdown on `terrorists’ herders’ who have arguably developed strategic plans to wipe out Benue people.
The persistent killings show flashes of variables of `genocide’ and the association believes only the federal government’s might remains the requisite antidote to deal with the situation.
The group reminds President Muhammadu Buhari that the central government’s history of nonchalant attitude towards the protection of lives and property of its citizens, especially in Benue is clear violation of the constitution provision.
For years the federal government failed to develop any convincing actionable plans to halt the articulated plans to obliterate Benue map from being part of Nigeria.
The association, therefore, views the slaughtering of some 33 human beings in that state and with dozens more injured, as a crime against humanity.
In the New Year attacks, reports had it that no fewer than 50 persons were actually killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen after they invaded parts of the Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state.
The assailants were said to have descended on the communities around 9pm on Monday and continued the attack till around 4am on Tuesday, shooting indiscriminately and burning down houses and huts, which country should allow this?
ABJ vehemently frowns at the way the federal government has always frozen when it is called upon to activate high power security measures to halt planned killings in the state.
That said, the question begging for an answer is whether the Benue people are second class citizens or immigrants in this enclave called Nigeria? Even if the people are viewed as such, do global laws and treaties not compel governments to protect such class of people?
This question is necessitated by huge successes the central government has always allowed these `terror herders’ to record against defenceless Benue people.
The association views the comment of the president which urged for the arrest of the perpetrators of the carnage as not enough, it must be backed by action which should serve as deterrent to forestall further occurrence.
The association therefore, aligns itself with the Benue State Government that said no level of intimidation and killings by the herdsmen, would force it to repeal the anti-open grazing law.
The group had gone through the provisions of that law and therefore, salute the ingenuity of the state to faction out such enactment that should reposition agriculture in the state that prides itself as the “Food Basket of the Nation’’.
The Fulani herdsmen had considered the law detrimental to their means of livelihood and had therefore, threatened to disrupt the peace of the state.
The leadership of the `Miyati Allah’, the umbrella body of herders has always crudely defended these frequent assaults on innocent people by their faceless members.
The association hereby lends its voice to call for the arrest and prosecution of the leadership of `Miyati Allah’ for its role in feeding the herders with poisonous venom with which they use against innocent people.
Emmanuel Terfa Iffer
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