ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The leaders of three main tribes of Benue State under the aegis of Mzough U Tiv, MUT, Ochetoha K’Idoma, OKI, and Omi Ny’ Igede, ONI, have lamented the recent killings in the state by suspected herders.
The tribal leaders urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security in the country without further delay, as part of measure to curb the killings in the State.
The leaders, through their Chairman and President General of Mzough U Tiv, World Wide, Chief Iorbee Ihagh, said this in Makurdi, the State capital.
They insisted that the President must act fast because the people of the state have had enough of the killings of their loved ones by armed herdsmen.
The leaders made the call while reacting to the recent killings in parts of the state.
They warned that: “The killings in Benue State are getting out of hand. Though we have a President in the country but it does not look like we have one. Just within two days 86 persons were killed by Fulani herdsmen in Benue and within one week they killed about 120 people in the state.
“The President is not doing anything to save our people. Is Benue State not part of Nigeria? Why are we being treated like this? Whenever our people are killed a statement will be made by the Presidency and after that nothing will be heard. The killings are too much, enough is enough.
“The Fulanis are allowed to carry AK47 to defend themselves, what about the farmers. We are the producers of food in this country and if you go to the market food items are very expensive because we are no more farming; if our people go to farm they are killed.
“Our people have been sacked from their homes, and even there in the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps the herdsmen go there to kill them. They kill our women and children and even unborn babies, what is our sin.
“The situation is getting out of hand and it is time for the President to declare a state of emergency on security with immediate effect. Some group of people think that Nigeria belongs to them, but that is wrong because the country belongs to us all. But we should know that Nigeria is pregnant.”
The leaders further stated that: “President Buhari should declare a state of emergency on security before he leaves office because we cannot allow our people to be killed like chicken every day. This government declared the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a terrorist group while armed herdsmen that are tormenting the entire country are pampered, why.
“They should be declared a terrorist organisation. We cannot continue like this. These herders are not the ones we used to know that lived among us, they were obviously brought to this country by politicians and Nigerians are obviously happy with what is going on.
“I also recall that the Vice President visited Benue State some years back and promised that the Federal Government will make available the sum of N10billion to help get the IDPs resettled, we are asking that the money be released for that to be done before the next administration comes in. That should not be pushed to the next government. We should be treated as Nigerians because we are part and parcel of this country.
“We believe that their mission is to take over Benue land but we cannot allow that even if it means killing everyone of us. We also demand that the Federal Government adopt ranching as the mode of animal husbandry in the country because that is what is obtainable in organised societies so that we can put an end to the menace of armed herders.
“The government is contradicting itself by advocating that we move away from an oil based economy by encouraging agricultural production, but armed herders are allowed to kill the farmers who will drive agricultural production. What then happens to food security in the country? A government that is emphasising food security is failing to protect the farmer to produce for domestic consumption and export. There is obviously no sincerity of purpose in that advocacy.”