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Benue massacre: Benue elders condemn visit by northern govs, demand apology

…We don’t trust intentions of Federal Government’

…It’s a mockery of Benue people —PDP

By Peter Duru and Nwafor Sunday

A group of prominent Benue indigenes, Benue Advancement Forum, BAF, has described the visit by members of the Northern Governors Forum to the State three weeks after the killing of 73 innocent people by suspected herdsmen in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of the state, as belated, face-saving and mockery on the State.

The organisation, led by its Chairman, Professor David Iornem, made its stand known yesterday, when it paid a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom, in Makurdi.

The condemnation is coming at the same time the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, went to town on its Tweeter to say the visit was  no longer a condolence visit but an act of mockery.

Benue elders

In an address presented by its Deputy Chairman and former Minister of State for Education, Professor Jerry Agada, BAF wondered why it took the northern governors a long time to pay a condolence visit on their colleague who lost many lives in one attack.

“We are equally curious that the visit of the governors came only after a delegation of Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, South South and Middle Belt socio-cultural groups had visited Benue to commiserate with the government and people of the State.

“We therefore demand an apology from the governors because they only came to mock us over the unfortunate incident that befell us as a people.

“BAF condemn the recent herdsmen attacks on children, women and defenceless other people in Guma and Logo and we fault the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings, we urge the Federal Government to arrest those behind the genocide and declare herdsmen as a terrorist organisation.

“BAF will also want to state that we do not trust the intentions of the Federal Government in sending troops to Benue even as the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has not come out clearly to support the anti-open grazing law in Benue. It seems that the government does not believe that Benue State House of Assembly has any right to make laws that are acceptable and beneficial to protect the interest of Benue citizens.” the group stated.

They also urged Governor Ortom to remain courageous and firm as he had been on the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law which they described as the best solution to lasting peace in the country.

Responding, Governor Ortom thanked members of BAF for the visit and assured them that his administration would not relent in its resolve to ensure the return of peace and security to parts of the State recently attacked by herdsmen.

He repeated his call on security agencies to arrest the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and other groups suspected to be sponsors of the new year killings the State.

PDP on Tweeter

PDP equally alleged that they have been begging All Progressives Congress, APC, administration to send delegations to the affected state for many days but APC did not respond till their recent visit which they PDP termed ‘a visit to dance and spit on the graves of those slaughtered by bandits’.

Read bellow PDP’s statement:

“The visits by the @APCNigeria governors to Makurdi, Benue State, was no longer about condolence but to dance and spit on the graves of those slaughtered by bandits.

“It took 18 days of begging by the @OfficialPDPNig for the governors to consider visiting the state.

“It is also outrageous and disheartening for @Mbuhari to summon the bereaved to Aso Rock instead of visiting them.

“This is an insult on our collective sensibility as a people. The bereaved are always visited not summoned”.


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