By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Determined to have the masterminds of the Benue massacre face justice, the tribal leaders of the state under the aegis of Mdzough U Tiv, the Idoma National Forum, INF, and the Omi Ny’ Igede, ONI, have petitioned the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin with documentary evidence exposing those behind the Benue massacre and appealed to him to have them arrest.
A copy of the petition which was made available to Vanguard, came on the heels of the recent claim by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim that the military had not arrested the leadership of Miyetti Allah because it had no compelling evidence linking them to the killings.
In the petition signed by Chief Edward Ujege, President General of MUT, Mr. Adoya Amali, President, INF, and Comrde Benjamin Okpa, President General ONI, the leaders referred the Chief of Defence Staff to the attached evidence supposedly exposing the involvement of leaders of Miyetti Allah to the killings in the state.
The leaders lamented that they had in the past made concerted efforts through letters, personal visits and pleas to relevant authorizes to stop the killings and have the masterminds arrested in order to give the people of the state Justice but all ended in futility.
Part of the petition read, “apart from this, several others letters were sent to security chiefs for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah, by groups and well meaning Nigerians but nothing was done to prevent the further occurrences of mayhem meted on the people of Benue state.
We also made efforts to visit and brief the President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter, but when the efforts to pay a courtesy call on him failed, we wrote him an open letter in November, 2017.
We also wrote similar letters to all the security chiefs and our letters were ignored. We noticed that the body language and utterances of some top officials of the Federal Government and Presidency seemed to have encouraged further action by our enemies in the killing episode.
“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that there are ample evidences to prosecute Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore in contradiction of the statement made by Brig. Gen. John Agim, Acting Director of Defence Information.
“If Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore where prosecuted, it would have served as a deterrent to stop the unfair killings that have visited Nigeria, especially the Benue valley, but the utterances and body language of the Federal Government had not help matters.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government as good citizens, patriotic and lovers of the Nigerian nation that they can still make corrections by taking proper action.”