The Conference of Benue Journalists(CBJ) has again called on the federal government to urgently take steps to bring to an end to the continuous attacks on communities in Benue State, before it gets too late.
The group in a statement signed by its chairman, Emmanuel Iffer, in Abuja, at the weekend, also warned that the continuation of these attacks, was capable of further escalating the security situation in the country.
According to the group, the plea has become necessary owing to the fact that it is only the federal government that can bring the situation to a halt, since it is the only the tier of government in control all security apparatus in Nigeria.
“ We can’t but passionately plead with the federal government, since no other level of government in the country has statutory control, or powers over any security organisation in Nigeria. So we are pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan, to quickly take steps that can put a stop to these attacks that have led to the loose of lives before the situation gets out of hand”.
The statement also quoted Iffer warning that failure to address these attacks which has resulted into the displacement of several farming communities along Makurdi, the state capital, Gwer and Agatu axis could also lead to food crisis in the country.
Chairman of the group also noted that these communities were mainly farmers who produce almost all of the food, particularly fruits that are consumed by residents of Abuja, and other parts of the country.
“ It is common knowledge that Benue State is the food basket of the nation, and most of the food eaten in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and other parts of Nigeria, comes from state, especially fruits; such as orange and mangoes.
“ It is however sad that farmers who produce these crops are either been killed, or displaced, a situation that could negatively affect their productivity if nothing is done”.
Similarly, the group renewed its earlier call to President Goodluck Jonathan, urging him to make good his promise to assist with the reticulation of Makurdi water facilities.
The group noted that despite the huge investment by the Governor Gabriel Suswam’s administration in the water sector, indigenes of the state, especially the state capital have continued to have their lives cut short as a result of water related diseases.
“ As at today, reports indicates that no fewer than 30 active and able bodied residents of Makurdi, have been sent to their earl graves as a result of cholera, just as many others are hospitalised, without end insight, so the president must quickly make good his promise by directing the release of N7 billion for the reticulation of Makurdi water system”.