By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—Worried by the unending killings in Benue State by suspected Fulani herdsmen, an Abuja-based Tiv socio-cultural organization known as Swem Karagbe Club has added its voice to condemn the attacks.
The group said the recent attacks amount to attempts to annihilate the Tiv nation and forcefully acquire their God given resources.
It vowed that any attempt to forcefully take over the ancestral homes of the Benue people will be vehemently resisted.
In a press release signed by the President-General, Emmanuel Ukan, KSJI and made available to Vanguard, the group also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to mobilize all the security apparatus of the state to ensure the arrest and prosecution of all the perpetrators of the heinous crime against the people of Benue State.
It further called on the authorities to prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, who had sometime in 2017, threatened to invade the state after the signing into law of the State Anti Open-Grazing law by the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
The group said it is out to promote peaceful co-existence, culture and the development of the Tiv nation, but would not allow the lingering invasion and killings in the Benue valley to continue, describing it as a barbaric scheme and calculated strategy to overrun and enslave the un-armed citizens of the state.
“We condemn in strong terms the continuous unwarranted invasion, provocation and killings of the un-armed people of Benue State on their God given land, most especially the good people of Guma and Logo Local Government Areas, through a well-conceived and executed invasion, killings and destruction of properties by the Fulani herdsmen curiously over rights of the ancestral land of the people.
“We condemn in total, the docile, non-challant and uncaring attitude of the Federal authorities to forewarnings by the Governor of Benue State, arising from threats by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association to launch attacks against our people as no precautionary measures were put in place by the Federal Government, paving way for such threats to become real which has resulted to monumental loss of lives and properties by our people”
“For now, ranching remains not only the best solution but the only option to the herdsmen-farmers’ crisis, hence we urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to learn from international best practices of animal husbandry even among our African countries like Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, etc. where ranching has been long entrenched. Consequently, we urge the Federal security agencies to ensure the full implementation of the law in the State,” the statement said.
The group said it was disturbed by the slow pace of action and lack of political will by the President Buhari-led federal government to stem the tide, saying it behoves Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to live up to his oath of office by ensuring the security of lives and properties of all citizens, irrespective of partisan political persuasion and ethnicity.
While commending the Benue State Governor, Governor Samuel Ortom, for his doggedness, uprightness and for being a strong voice for the defenceless people of the State who have been subjected to neglect, untold hardship, raping, killings, maiming and the ensuing destruction of properties worth billions of naira, the group called on all prominent sons and daughters of the state to rally round and support the State Government by speaking out and working closely in unity to evolve sustainable strategies that will permanently overrun the activities of the herdsmen.