BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI
A civil society group, the Benue Arise Network, BAN, has advised the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris to honorably resign his position for his alleged complicity in the Benue killings.
The group also expressed concern over what it described as an alleged plot by the Inspector General of Police to embark on mass transfer of top ranking Police officer of Benue origin holding command positions in the state.
In a statement released in Makurdi at the weekend, BAN through its
Organizing Secretary, David Mzer lamented that the Inspector General of Police had taken sides in the Benue killings and abdicated his responsibilities to ensuring the safety of lives and property of all Nigerians.
The statement read in part, “We want to inform world of an alleged clandestine order by the IG of Police over the killings in a Benue state.
“We real ugly gathered that he has directed a compilation of the list of all Benue indigenes in positions of authority in the Police within the state. His intention according to our findings is to transfer all of them out of the state and replace them with those who will do his bidding.
“We keep wondering why the Gboko Divisional a Police Officer DPO was invited to Abuja for questioning after a mob action in Gboko; yet those of Guma and Logo local government area where hundreds of farmers are killed, and over 100,000 people displace have not suffered similar fate. We call on the President and the Police Service Commission to investigate this issue.
“You may recall that few days after the signing of the Benue state Anti-Open Grazing and Ranches Establishment Bill into Law, precisely on Tuesday, 30th May 2017, the Fulani Socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore under the leadership of Alhaji Abdulahi Bodejo (President) and Engr. Alhassan Sale (Secretary) in a press conference held in Abuja kicked against the Law in Benue State, vowing to mobilize their members nationwide to resist the implementation of the law.
“The group also erroneously laid claim to being the real habitants of the Benue valley. Several threats were issued after this.
“Thereafter the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, the Benue State House of Assembly, ethnic and religious groups, civil society groups and several others condemned the threats from the herdsmen and called on security agencies to arrest the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.
“They also called the attention of the Presidency to these threats by the herdsmen in order to avoid bloodshed in Benue State.
“The herdsmen made good their threats on New Year Day by attacking innocent and defenseless citizens of the State in Guma and Logo Local Government areas, leading to the death of over 73 people and properties worth billions of Naira destroyed.
“Till today, the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is yet to be arrested or invited for investigation by the Nigerian Police or any security agency in the country.
“Not even the comments from the Fulani Cattle Breeders justifying the killings in Benue and the threats of more bloodshed if the Anti-Open Grazing Law is not repealed or the statement by the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) that the killing of Tiv people in Benue State was well deserved has drawn the attention of the Inspector General of Police.
“Instead, we have seen the IGP and the Police Force Public Relation Officer, Jimoh Moshood acting as spokesmen for Fulani herdsmen, a group rated as the fourth deadliest terror group in the World.
“We have seen IGP blame the killing of innocent and defenseless people in Benue State on the Anti-Open Grazing Law, and the Force Public Relations Officer refer to Governor Ortom as a “drowning man” on National Television.
“In the light of the fore-going, we call for the immediate resignation, dismissal or sack of the Inspector General of Police and the Force Public Relations Officer.
“We demand a full explanation from the Nigerian Police on what the spokesman meant by his assertion that the Governor of Benue State ‘is a drowning man.’
“We are aware that police officers guard Governor Samuel Ortom, if the police now refer to Governor Ortom as a drowning man, is the security of the Governor guaranteed? Is there anything the police know that we are not aware of?
“The bias and unprofessional conduct of police officers like the IGP and the PPRO is largely responsible for the recent ranking of the Nigerian Police Force as the worst police force in the world by the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI).
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to act decisively by arresting the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.
“In the same vein, we call for the proscription of the said Miyetti Allah group and a declaration that it is a terrorist group and should be treated as such.
“We are all aware that the good people of Benue State stood firmly for President Buhari in the build-up to the 2015 general elections, and massively voted for him to become the President of Nigeria.
“President Buhari presented himself as a man of integrity, an unbiased Nigerian who is for everybody and belongs to nobody. Surprisingly, President Buhari’s Presidency has shortchanged the people of Benue State who overwhelmingly voted for him, in terms of projects and appointments.
“As we speak, there is no single Federal Government project going on in Benue State. As that was not enough, after over 73 people including pregnant women and children were massacred in Guma and Logo LGAs, President Buhari failed to come and commiserate with the people that massively voted for him in 2015 and still support his administration.
“A President who is for everybody would have emulated President Donald Trump of the United State of America who was involved in Rescue Operation during Hurricane Harvey, or who would at least pay the people of the state a condolence visit.
“Unfortunately, a week after supposed 73 cows were killed in Nassarawa State, President Muhammadu Buhari was on a state visit to Nassarawa State which has a border with Benue State where 73 people including pregnant women and children were killed and buried in mass graves.
“The people of Benue State feel they have been duped and betrayed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Interestingly, the Force Public Relation Officer, Jimoh Moshood disclosed on Channels Television that, any organization that carries firearms must be approved by the President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces. We are compelled to ask, who has approved the firearms being carried by Fulani Herdsmen?
“In the light of fore-going, we call on President Buhari to turn his fatherly care to the people of Benue State and immediately, order the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the aid of over 100,000 displaced persons in IDPs camps in Benue State.
“We call on the President to immediately disarm and arrest the Fulani herdsmen who move freely around the country with AK47 rifles. Failure to do this, Nigerians will be left with no other option but to believe that the President has approved firearms for Fulani herdsmen to kill innocent and defenseless citizens.
“This will leave the people with no other option than to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
“On the 44 days military operation bid to commence in Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba and six other states from the 15th of February, 2018, known as ‘Operation Ayem Akpatema’, we must say we have faith in the military, but the Federal government has given the people of the state every good reason to suspect every move it will take now until they have proved otherwise.
“The Operation should be used to arrest the invaders of the State, and not to falsely indict the Governor of the Benue state.
“Any move by Mr. President not to go after the invaders, but to turn against the innocent people of the state, who are victims, will not be acceptable to our group, the state, and Nigerians in general, and will cause the people to lose faith in the military like they have lost with in the police.”