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Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatuma encouraging influx of herdsmen into Benue — Rights group

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI— Independent Human Rights and Crime Monitoring Group, IHRCMG, has accused the military of encouraging the influx of cattle into Benue State and take over of Benue communities by herdsmen in violation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of the state.

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Reeling out preliminary report on execution of Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatuma to end herdsmen incursions in Benue State, yesterday, in Makurdi, team leader of IHRCMG, Mr Solomon Adodo, regretted that the state had witnessed more killings, destruction of farmlands and houses despite the coming of the military.

The group also accused the Federal Government of complicity in the crisis bedevilling the state, alleging that the Federal Government was not doing enough to end the killings in Benue State.

According to the group, “Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatum  is causing more harm than good to Benue communities. Rather than bringing peace and move people back to their ancestral homes, the military has been encouraging more herdsmen to move into Benue communities.

“The military encouraged herdsmen with a handblil, which they used at the launch of the exercise. They circulated the handbill misinforming the general public and giving a perspective that was not true.

“And Federal Government appears to be complicit in the Benue killings in all ramifications, the actions taken so far by the government does not show any political will to end the killings.

“We, therefore, recommend that the military should reassess its operations and sincerely help Benue to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of 2017.”



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