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Benue NASS members urge Buhari to stop Benue killings




Aggrieved members of the Benue caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday condemned the invasion and continued massacre of the people of Benue State by Fulani herdsmen, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to “act like a soldier” and halt the killings in the area.

The group berated the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase over his unsympathetic statement that the number of those killed in Agatu was blown out of proportion, noting that the IGPs remarks only served to encourage the herdsmen who, the members alleged, have intensified their killing bazaar in the state.

The lawmakers, who addressed a press conference at the National Assembly complex yesterday, warned that if the federal government delays in nipping the senseless killings in the bud, the people would confront their adversaries and attackers frontally.

They further warned that they could no longer fold their arms while their people were being killed like chickens by jihadists who camouflage as herdsmen.

The lawmakers also described as despicable and unacceptable the fact that despite the outcry that trailed the killings and sacking of Agatu communities by Fulani militia, the marauders have continued to lay siege on other local governments and killing more people.

Leader of the group and Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Orker Jev said the people “can no longer continue to remain docile and sedate, while the Fulani herdsmen desecrate our land, kill our men, women and children, rape our women, destroy our farms and raze our houses.”

Jev, who called for the immediate cessation of the killings, kidnapping and raping by the herdsmen, said, “the hospitality and accommodating nature of Benue people must not be abused any longer.

“The fact that we are accommodating does not mean we are weak. Are we not entitled to be protected by the Nigerian state as the Nigerian constitution stipulates? Or are we being told by this obvious neglect that we are on our own and we shall only survive if we organise our own protection from these rampaging marauders?”

While decrying the lukewarm attitude of the Federal government towards what they described as a “jihad” being waged against the people, the lawmakers also described as belated the reaction of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Bdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd) who spoke on the massacre a week after over 500 people were killed and 10 villages razed in Agatu area of the state.

“It is curious that up till today, the investigative panel purportedly instituted by the Federal Government to inquire into the attacks has not been made public or inaugurated.

“Who are the members of this committee? When will they commence work? Must we wait for all the people of the state to be cleansed off the surface of the earth before we act?” the lawmakers asked.

“We want to bring to the notice of Mr. President, the Federal Government and indeed the whole world that several local government areas in Benue State including Buruku, Guma, Gwer-West, Logo, Kwande, Agatu, Otukpo, Gwer-East, Makurdi and Katsina-Ala have been under perennial heavy attacks from the Fulani herdsmen since 2013,” they said.

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