THE CONTINUOUS KILLINGS IN BENUE STATE WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO OKPOKWU KILLINGS IS HIGHLY CONDEMNABLE - THE MAIN THREE SOCIO-CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS IN BENUE STATE . - Snazzy.com.ng

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THE CONTINUOUS KILLINGS IN BENUE STATE WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO OKPOKWU KILLINGS IS HIGHLY CONDEMNABLE - THE MAIN THREE SOCIO-CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS IN BENUE STATE .

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THE MAIN THREE SOCIO-CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS IN BENUE STATE- MDZOUGH U TIV, IDOMA NATIONAL FORUM AND OMI NY’ IGEDE CONDEMN THE CONTINUOUS KILLINGS IN BENUE STATE WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO OKPOKWU KILLINGS.
The three socio-cultural organizations representing the people of Benue state namely; Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’ Igede hereby wish to bring to the attention of international community the cruel killing of 24 people of Benue in Okpokwu Local Government by armed Fulani herdsmen on the 5th of March 2018.

We are thrown into further mourning because it will be recalled that on the 1st and 2nd of January 2018, over 73 Benue people were murdered in cold blood in their sleep and were given mass burial. This continuous killings have become too much and we call upon well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to come to our aid to stop this planned genocide.

We regret to say that the Federal government that is responsible for safety and security of Nigerians, by the body language of government officials and their utterances, have not convinced us of their willingness to protect and defend the people of Benue state in line with their (official) constitutional role.

1. It is apparent that the law made by the Benue Government in line with her constitutional rights to avert the killings and destruction pf property and restore peace between herders and Benue farmers is, unfortunately and sadly not respected by the Federal government and her security agencies.

2. Utterances such as: i) The President himself to have said that more people have been killed in Taraba than Benue and Zamfara states put together maybe misconstrued to mean that there should be more killings in Benue state.

ii) The Inspector General of Police statement that government should establish free ranches with all infrastructures is an invitation to anarchy and further killings. The Inspector General of Police acts autocratically and assumes the role of the judiciary, legislative and executives. No enabling environment is created to facilitate dialogue between aggrieved parties. We are disappointed by the Inspector General of Police’s call on vigilante to surrender arms without mentioning the armed Fulani herdsmen.

iii) The inability and reluctance of Federal Government security agencies to arrest the perpetrators, especially, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, even when they admitted responsibility for the cruel killings in Benue.

iv) Exercise Cat-Race (Ayem Akpatuma) seems to us, to be a deceptive strategy by the Federal Government to aid the invasion of Benue state by herdsmen. We expected that the army “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma” will assist the over 160,000 IDPs to move back to their homes by restoring peace and order, this has not been done, instead armed Fulani herders have continued to occupy such homes.

We also expected the army to inspire the confidence in Benue People rather than fuelling their fears that they have come to assist the Fulani herders to continue killing, occupying Benue land and homes and further influx of large number of Fulani and cattle. In this regard, we condemn the pamphlet issued by the army on February 15th that profiled the Benue people as cattle rustlers.

OUR CALL
1. We want to call on well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to pressurize the Federal government and her law enforcement agencies to respect the law to prohibit open rearing and grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranches and livestock administration, control and other matters therewithin, 2017. This is global best practice.

2. We call on the Federal government to ensure that the Okpokwu Local Government killing of 24 Benue citizens and destruction of property is the last.

3. We call on the international community to pressurize the Federal government to stop treatment of Benue people as second class citizens. In this regard the utterances of the Federal Government officials have not promoted the atmosphere of peace and unity.

4. We call on the Federal government to ensure the arrest, interrogation and prosecution of perpetrators of genocide against Benue people.

5. We call on the Federal government to facilitate the return of over 160,000 IDPs to their ancestral homes to get back to their economic activities which are mainly farming, as well as the recommencement of school activities for the children.

6. We call on the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for dialogue between aggrieved parties.

7. We call on our brother socio-cultural organization in Nigeria like Afenifere, OhanezeNdi Igbo, Ijaw National Congress, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union and others to rise in solidarity to defend the people of Benue state and the sovereignty of Nigeria as a whole.

WE PRAY AND BELIEVE IN THE UNITY AND PEACE OF THIS SOVEREIGN NATION AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS CALLED TO DOTHE NEEDFUL.

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