By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Barely a day after the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111, had tried to distance Fulani herdsmen from Benue massacre, which claimed 73 lives, Tiv youths have slammed the revered spiritual leader, asking him to retrace his steps and allow the security agencies to do their work and bring the culprits to prosecution.
The youths under the aegis of Tiv Youth Council, said in a statement made available to Saturday Vanguard that it was unfortunate for the Sultan of Sokoto to seek to usurp the work of security men and give undue clearance to murderers while the families of the victims were still mourning their irreparable loss.
The youths said it was not within the powers of Sultan Abubakar to determine who slaughtered the innocent persons in Benue or give their clean bill of health but that of the relevant security agencies.
The youths insisted that the herdsmen who murdered their siblings must be classified as terrorists and given appropriate treatment whether they are members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association or Fulani herdsmen.
“Since those who killed our brothers and sisters have not denied doing so and being frontally against the implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law in Benue, we find it curious that the Sultan is trying to defend the killers and blame others for the crime against humanity,” the TYC said in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Mike Msuaan.
“Nigeria belongs to us all and human lives are sacred. It should be our collective responsibility especially the highly placed in the society to rise up in defense of every Nigerian that is ppressed by the stronger power. The victim should not be the suspect as it the case in the unfolding Benue situation. We plead that justice should be given in order to quench the thirst for revenge.
It will be recalled that the Sultan of Sokoto had on Thursday, indicted the federal government and security agencies over the killings of farmers by Fulani herdsmen across the country, including Benue and Taraba states.
He also exonerated Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, of any culpability in the recent killings of farmers in some parts of the country by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Speaking at the General Assembly of Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, IDFP, in Abuja, Sultan Abubakar III, expressed shock that the federal government and security agencies had done nothing about herdsmen bearing arms in the country, despite the series of attacks they had launched against communities in different parts of the country.