By Peter Duru
Makurdi—Benue State tribal leaders under the aegis of Mdzough U Tiv (MUT), Idoma National Forum and Omi-Ny’Igede have decried recent media report (not Vanguard), alleging that Tiv youths attacked the Hausa community in Makurdi, the Benue State capital leading to the death of 10 persons and razing of four mosques as a calculated attempt to incite sectarian violence in the state.
Chairman of the tribal leaders, Chief Edward Ujege, in a statement, yesterday, in Makurdi lamented that the purported report of reprisal followed the attack on St. Ignatius Quasi Parish in Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area of the state where two priests and 17 worshippers were killed was mischievous, callous and insulting.
He said: “We wish to state categorically that nothing of sort took place in Makurdi or anywhere else in Benue. It is a tissue of lies and falsehood concocted to profile the Tiv youths in bad light.
“We consider the said report as part of the well planned agenda by our traducers to change the narrative in the state. It must be noted that in the face of unprovoked and horrendous attacks on farming communities in the state, our youths have at all times been implored to be law-abiding while cooperating with security agencies to arrest the security situation in the state.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first of such false statements about the situation in Benue State. The Inspector-General of Police may have set the tone for this when he described the attacks in Benue State as communal clashes.
“The Defence Minister also accused Governor Samuel Ortom of breeding the crisis, just because the later happens to be the governor at a time the people of the state have given unto themselves a law to stop open grazing of livestock.
“Let it be known that we have lost hundreds of souls of our loved ones to herdsmen attack on our communities. We have lost inestimable worth of resources to the attacks, but we are certain that our killers will not go scot-free.”