…Benue people bare their minds on what they would have told him
BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI
There was no fanfare when President Mohammadu Buhari visited Benue State last Monday to commiserate with the people after the bizarre killings in the herdsmen attacks in the state. Benue State Governor and some leaders of the state bared their minds to the President.
Here, we publish the comments of the common people who wished they had the opportunity to also bare their minds to the President
Mr. Ganki Emmanuel is a youth activist and social commentator – He is treating us the way they treat old wives
If I met with President Buhari I would have asked him why it took him very long time to visit Benue state after the killings. I had expected that President Buhari would have, during that visit, called herdsmen who are his kinsmen to order. There was no categorical statement made on the killings in a Benue state.
Those were the key things I expected from him that he failed to do. He more or less spoke in tongues because we did not understand all he said. He refused to speak on the position of Benue people in his APC government. I want to believe that he is treating us as if we are old wives. We are disappointed.
Kennah Kator is a student – Pay attention to Benue killings
If I had the opportunity of meeting the President during his visit to Benue I would have asked him why he failed to meet with the ordinary people of the state.
Recall that the meeting he held with stakeholders was done behind closed doors. We expected he would address the people in an open gathering but it did not happen. I also expected that he would visit some of the areas where the killings happened but he never did.
As the President and Chief custodian of the Constitution he was expected to ensure the safety of all Nigerians but that is not happening.
Since we cannot embark on taking up arms to defend ourselves we expect that he ensures the protection of the lives and property of Nigerians especially the Benue people who have over the years suffered series of attacks from herdsmen. So we are not happy.
If I had an opportunity with I would have told him that he should pay attention to the Benue killings and find a solution to them as soon as possible.
Paul Gaaji – I would have asked him why he wants a second term?
Of course when he came he was supposed to visit the Tor Tiv and the Ochi Idoma in their palaces but he promised that he would come back in the near future for elections. It’s strange I must tell you. If I had a one on one with the President I would asked him why, despite this health challenge, he still wants to run for second term?
I also felt maybe he was scared of Benue people that was why he did not go around to see the people.
Oche Ogbu – Why didn’t he come earlier than he did?
If I had an opportunity with President President Buhari I would have asked him why he didn’t come to Benue earlier.
Perhaps Mr. President was scared of Benue in the first place. Or maybe because he did not know the mood of the people before now. The security situation in the state was tensed so that could have been responsible for his failure to visit the IDPs. But we had expected him to visit at lest one of the IDPs camps to commiserate with the people.
Engr. Ezra Nyiorngo – I knew his coming would not change anything
I was not expecting much from the President as a Benue indigene because comments from his security apparatus who said we needed to build ranches before making the grazing law or that the killings were as a result of communal crisis.
He did not reprimand those who made such comments. More so that he ordered the IGP to relocate to Benue and he failed to comply with the directive. So I was not expecting much from him because from the onset I knew that his coming would not change anything.
Zetugh Jonathan – I wanted him to support the Benue’s grazing law
What we expected as youths is for him to tackle the security challenges in the state. Since 2012, my local government Logo has been affected by herdsmen attacks.
Despite the coming of the grazing law, the herdsmen are still attacking our people. We expected him to take decisive action to end the killings.
Governor Ortom has been trying his best but without the support of the federal government he might not do much.
If I had an opportunity to speak to the President I would have told him to support our grazing law in Benue.
Abdullahi Hassan, an artisan – I expected him to speak to those behind the killings
My expectation was for him to come and give us hope and joy after he made several promises before the election. I’m not disappointed because his coming was also for a reason.
The Herdsmen and farmers crisis was one thing I expected pronouncement on. Many have been killed so I had expected him to to speak to those behind the killings to stop and also to leave the state.
Godwin Abunde – I expected him to address ordinary people
I had expected that on arrival the President would visit the crisis areas and the IDP camps. Unfortunately he did not visit any of the camps. The people suffering in the farmers/crisis are the ordinary people. So we had expected that he would address the ordinary people but he did not. For me it was a big mistake.
Victoria Asher – I was not disappointed
I was not disappointed because I expected him to do what he actually did.
Going by the things that happened in other states he visited I did not expect him to do anything differently. Thank God we have not recorded massive killings since the visit because if you remember in other states, as soon as he left herdsmen would get emboldened and embark on killing spree.
Killings are still going on in Plateau and nothing is being done to check the bloodbath.
Josephine Nyiaakula – We are fed up with activities of herdsmen
I was not expecting anything from the President. We clamoured for him to be President but majority of Nigerians are just fed up with the activities of herdsmen in most states of the federation.
Samuel Akya – Why is it difficult to end the killings?
I had expected him to visit the burial site of those killed on New Year’s Day and also visit at least one of the IDP camps to see things for himself.
He also failed to address the ordinary people of the state. He rather spoke with highly placed people in government house. If I had an opportunity with him, I would have asked him why he is finding it difficult to end the killings in Benue state.