Buhari, Ortom in crucial meeting over Benue killings

Glen Norman
January 13, 2018

Fifty-nine of the deceased are slated for a mass burial in a village near the Air Force Base in Makurdi, the state capital, on Thursday morning.

Paramount ruler of Tiv people of Benue State, Professor James Ayatse, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to visit the state and placate the people who are grieving heavily over the death of more than 50 persons killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Similarly, the Rights group has carpeted Federal government functionaries for contemplating the deployment of public resources to promote private businesses of cattle rearing by establishing the illegal cattle colonies in parts of Nigeria. We will see their action and the kind of mandate they have.

Shawon, who is also the Chairman of Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria in Benue, explained that the forest stretched from Guma to Logo on the banks of River Benue covering over 57km. The governor also said the state had forewarned the police of the plan to attack the state by the herdsmen.

The leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, he said, should also be arrested and prosecuted for alleged genocide. President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, a tribe known for nomadic animal rearing, faces accusations that he has not been tough on the menace of his kinsmen - a claim the presidency has vehemently denied. "It is the responsibility of government to maintain law and order, and this government is determined", he added.

Reacting to the situation on Tuesday, MASSOB, in a statement by its National Director of Information, Comrade Samuel Edeson, said the people of Benue State must defend themselves.

Mr. Idris said the police would deploy helicopter surveillance to monitor the movement of such miscreants across the state and pledged to be diligent in discharging the presidential assignment.

The high point of the meeting was the open apology by the IGP for describing the Benue killings as "communal clashes", following insistence from participants. His government has proposed the creation of cattle ranches.

"The commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to ensure Law and order and protection of lives and property of all Nigerians throughout the Country remains unequivocal and unwavering".

Authorities of the Benue State Police Command said the New Year's Day attacks began around 10 a.m.as Christians were at church worship services and lasted until 2 a.m. on January 2.

"Already, because of the communications we have been having when this incidents started, actions have been taken as directed by him".

Eight suspects have been arrested so far by the local police following the bloody attacks in the state.

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