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By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

The Coalition of Southern and Middle belt youth leaders on Wednesday called on the Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, to arrest and prosecute the suspected Fulani herdsmen behind the reported killings of 16 Timber traders at Udei and Yelwata communities in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, last Monday.

The group made this call in a statement to newsmen in Owerri, signed by the Coordinator of Forum of Middle Belt Youth presidents, Terrence Kuanum, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, Goodluck Ibem, South West Youth Leaders Forum, Shittu Waheed and Coalition of South Youth Forum, Tito Zokumor.

The group said it wondered that since the launching of operation whirl stroke in Benue state, that it has been expecting the Army to arrest the suspected Fulani killers and prosecute them.

According to the group, “The Coalition of Southern and Middle Belt Youth Leaders Assembly, COSMBYLA, the umbrella body of all the youth groups in the South East, South-South, South West, and Middle Belt regions condemns in strongest terms the killing of 16 timber traders at Udei and Yelwata communities in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State by murderous Fulani terrorists parading as herdsmen on Monday 20 June 2022.

“These attack is coming about 10 days after a similar vicious attack that claimed several lives in Igama village, Edumoga Ehaje, Okpokwu Local Government Area and four days after a lawmaker and his sibling were also murdered and beheaded by these same demons in human flesh parading as herdsmen in Orokam, Ogbadibo Local Government Area of the State.

“In saner climes, the President under whose watch such wanton killing and destruction took place would without wanting to be told or compiled to resign, resign from office and submit himself for probe and prosecution.

“Our students in primary and secondary schools now think and believe that killing and destruction of lives of properties is a democracy dividend and a normal way of life. The situation is worrisome.

“The thousands of people that have been killed so far by these Fulani terrorists are not goats or fouls but human beings created by God. Human lives are sacrosanct and it is an unpardonable sin for anyone to play politics with precious human lives. The series of killings still going on in Benue state shows that Operation Whirl Stroke is not living up to expectations and they should be held accountable for the various killings that are still going on under their watch. In the force, failure or accuse is not entertained.”

“Since Operation Whirl Stroke came on board in the state, it has never been reported that the arrested and prosecuted any killer Fulani terrorists involved in the series of killings. These smacks of a conspiracy. They have arrested and neutralised Gana boys who are indigenes of Benue State but it has never been reported that the arrested murderous Fulani herdsmen kill people almost on daily basis.

“We call on the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Farouk Yahaya and IGP Usman Baba to immediately arrest and bring to justice those Fulani terrorists that killed the 16 timber traders in Guma LGA and those killed at Okpokwu LGA and Ogbadibo LGA,” they said.

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