THE SHOCKING TALE OF WOE IN BENUE: WHERE ARE BENUE SONS? - Snazzy.com.ng

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3/16/2017

THE SHOCKING TALE OF WOE IN BENUE: WHERE ARE BENUE SONS?

MICHAEL ALABAR
Today, the rivalry between the Fulani herdsmen and the sedentary Tiv farmers have resulted to wanton killing of the Benue people. This is one the lamentation of the spindrift blood of the innocent indigene of the Benue valley.

How painful it is when the body of a beloved one is been feasted upon by bearded vultures. This among other aftermath of the attacks on the Benue people by the doppelganger of the terror group in the north-east called the Fulani herdsmen has made the entire land to groan out for the foe.

The people of Benue suffer from the domiciliary killing, man slaughter, massacre, strangulation, degradation, rout, and mayhem from this beastial creatures who are undoubtedly trigger happy from the killings of the Benue people.

Indeed, there is a zero doubt that outside of the north-east and the Niger Delta region, Benue state of the north central geopolitical zone is probably most attacked state in the country.

The reports of genocides, massacre and destruction of properties in the state has formed the mega volumes in news paper articles, online journals including several other publications and has attracted the attention of this paper.

 One may say, the 2001 Jukun attack on Tiv in Taraba state on land dispute is a domino effect of what is happening today, since the attention of the federal government was shifted from the proper resolution of the crisis to the killing of 19 soldiers by the Tiv militia. This may be viewed so since there was a confusion during the crisis and the adequate attention was not given to it. It is recorded that, this was a Tiv/Jukun crisis, later on, the federal medical centre Makurdi, hospitals in Danancha, Katsina-Ala and Vandekya filled with patients whose limbs were cut off, not by the Jukun but by Fulanis, the patients said. The Tiv progressive movement took some steps towards this but later withdrew their position on the matter. www.irinews.org/feature/2001/10/24/focus-central-tiv-jukun-clashes
The aforementioned heralds the hostility on the Tiv nation from their Fulani counterparts for the purposes of wrongful grazing in Benue state.

In 2011, the herdsmen invaded the state, killed and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira.

On June 30, 2011. The federal house of representative opened debate on the sustained armed conflict between the Tiv farmers and their Fulani counterpart. But after some claims of about 40,000 people being displaced and over 50 persons killed, what was the out come?

You can agree with me in alliance with the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended section 14 sub section 2b which stated thus; the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. And in section 4 sub section 2 and 9 where national assembly are saddled with the responsibility to make laws for peace and order. But then what happened in regards to the two cases raised so far.

There is no iota of doubt that Nigeria has been blessed with conscience leaders, good leaders who are patriotic to the service and welfare of their nation. One may be tempted to ask weather this set of excellent leaders’ silence over the killings in Benue state had had their vigour poison of what we both may not know or else, why are they so distanced in emotion with the blood shed in the state?

But it is not yet late as we now recognised the power in our voices. Your voice and i, rings like the bell, sounds the trumpet and when put together in good union they shall wake the authority from their slumber. It must be made pronounced that the future generation killed by these men are the grooming heroes of the Benue valley if Nigeria failed to recognised this, we as the indigene of Benue must not forget it. The live of a Benue child is incommensurate with that of cattle. If there is no any other way than open grazing, then cattle rearing is impossible in Benue state.

Now a critical look and assessment of the results of the herdsmen attack on Benue people is indeed pathetic. As Many are rendered homeless, hopeless, helpless and parentless. Some at their tender ages. some are rendered childless at their old ages. Some are now school drop outs. There is malnutrition, famine and high rate of different kind of sicknesses affecting the well-being of the victims of these attacks. These has also affected agric production in the state.

The figures of the Tiv invaded communities with people killed and property destroyed as given by president general of Mdzough u Tiv Edward Ujege as published by https://www.today.ng/news/national/127513/herdsmen-kill-984-people-benue-years an online journal and the reports of the Agatu killing as published by http://simonnateba.com/publisher are shown below;
In 2014, no fewer than 142 people were killed, 6,544 displaced and property worth over 128 million lost in Guma local government. In Logo local government 54 persons were killed, 4,088 displaced and properties worth 9billiom lost. In makurdi 484 killed while 3,018 displaced and property worth about 31billion lost. Also 15 people were killed and 253 displaced while property worth over 53 million lost in Gwer East local government area. Areas like Gwer West and Kwande local government were also affected in the same year.

Between 2015 and 2016 many people were killed and properties destroyed and many others displaced in Buruku, Logo, Tarka and Ukum local government areas of Benue state.

Also the similar incident happened in Agatu where about 300 persons were killed and several others displaced.

Recently, the same men launched several attacks on some communities in the state and most present is the killing at Mkovur villiage in Buruku local government area of Benue State, where about 10 persons were killed as puplished by www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/03/12/herdsmen-attack-benue-community-kill-10
Looking forward for lasting solution to this menace has remained the yearnings of the people of the state.

As the sufferings of some Nigerians continued and the efforts of the government are not satisfactorily measured the victims of these attacks are feeling being abandoned. We are all aware of the human dignity in the country and what is happening when the dignity of some citizens have been trampled upon? But as contain in the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria section 17 sub section 2b the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced. So what is happening to the man slaughter, the degradation of human person in Benue State?

It is also clearly enshrined in the constitution the duties of every citizen in section 24 and section 24d stated that; it shall be the duty of every citizen to- make positive contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides. So, does it mean the wanton killings and the constant attacks of the Fulani herds men on Benue people is their positive contribution to the advancement, progress and the well-being of the state? but their activities are not inline with the provision in section 34 sub section 1a where it stated thus; Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly- no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment. Then how can we qualify the butchering of our brothers and sisters by Fulanis?

I firmly believe that the government especially the federal government is capable to end this menace by investigating the case and administering fair judgement to execute justice without favour. The government can also make laws to safe guide the activities of Nigerians to zero further killings of other Nigerian as clearly stated in section 45 sub section 1a &b thus; Nothing in section 38,39,40 and 41 of this constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society- (a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.
With the compendious account of this rebarbative issue of killing of the Benue people i hope it is high time to say no to all sort of political cacophony and agitate for government intervention to end the killing in Benue state.


It is true that We are Nigerians, we are not terrorist and we shall not be refugees in our mother land. We need solution from the government. This is a no call for remonstration but the presentation of the agony of the Benue people, the Tiv nation and our fellow Nigerians.

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