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Friday, April 12, 2024

Benue: 147 persons killed by herdsmen in 2 months – MUT President General, Ihagh



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From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi
President General of Tiv sociocultural organisation, Mzough U Tiv (MUT), CP Iorbee Ihagh (rtd), have have disclosed that about 147 persons have been killed in the state by herdsmen militia in the last two months alone.
MUT President stated this in a statement issued to newsmen in Makurdi on Thursday, in response to the renewed killings in the state.
Ihagh said available data shows that the state may have lost about 147 persons to herdsmen militia attacks in the last two months even though the number of deaths at his disposal are reported cases.
“But we strongly believe that the number of those killed could be higher, given that there were pockets of deaths across Benue State that may not have been reported.”
Ihagh, who is also the chairman of the three socio cultural organisations in the state, MUT, Ochetoha K’Idoma and Ominy’Igede, noted that during the period under review, the death of 70 persons were recorded in Zone A, Benue North East; 20 deaths from attacks by herdsmen and 45 killings occured with local militia groups, acting in connivance with herdsmen militia.
“In Zone B, Benue North West, about 10 persons were killed in Gwer West and 17 others in Gwer East, bringing the total to about 27 persons who lost their lives to attacks by the bandits, whereas in Zone C, Benue South, no fewer than 50 persons were killed by these criminal elements.”
The retired Comptroller of Prisons lamented that “Cries by individuals and groups, over these killings have fallen on deaf ears, hence we decided it is appropriate for us to also take our cries to the President and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom we have so much confidence in and trust that he has the capacity to end these mindless killings that are going on in Benue State.
“Therefore, the MUT is calling on the three State Governments of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States, to empower Operation Whirl Stroke, (OPWS), the military spike operation, operating in the three states to deliver on their mandate.
“We also call on the Federal Government, FG, to work out modalities at ensuring that Operation Whirl Stroke has enough manpower to handle the challenges confronting it, in its Joint Area of Operations, JAO, in view of the increase in activities of these herdsmen militia, that has hindered Benue people from going to the farms.”
He commended officers and men of OPWS under the Command of Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia for their resilience so far expressing the belief that given the needed manpower and empowerment, they can produce more results.
MUT president general also called on the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA), Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, to retract and tender an unreserved apology to the Tiv nation over the statement he made, calling Tiv people thieves.
He recalled that the Tiv people have a long standing relationship with the Fulani people, where the Tiv, who are great farmers, offer the Fulani, food in exchange for beef.
He said the statement credited to the Sultan saying that the Tiv people stole their cows, and coming at the height of the killings in Benue was not worthy of a person of the standing of the Sultan of Sokoto.
The Mzough U Tiv, also commended President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for all the interventions, programmes and projects to Benue State, under his Renewed Hope Agenda as well as the works of Governor, Hyacinth Alia, for giving the people of Benue State a new lease of life pledging their support in his quest to rid the state of bandits by enforcing the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.

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