By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has appealed to the leadership of Fulanis in Nigeria to direct the militia perpetrating killings in Benue state to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
The party also urged Governor Samuel Ortom to revisit the implementation of the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law with the aim of remodeling its enforcement.
Addressing the media on Tuesday in Makurdi, the Benue State Chairman of the APC, Mr. Austin Agada who was flanked by stakeholders and leaders of the party in the state lamented the continuous killings in the state by suspected armed Fulani militia.
Mr. Agada particularly noted the recent attacks on Ihyarev communities of Makurdi, Guma and Gwer West Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state by armed herdsmen that left several persons dead and appealed for an end to the bloodletting.
While blaming the renewed attacks on cattle rustling, the APC Chairman appealed to “the leadership of the Fulanis in Nigeria to immediately direct the Fulani militia to lay down their arms and allow peace to reign.
“In the same vein, we call on security agencies to demonstrate capacity in intelligence gathering so as to forestall any further attacks against Ihyarev people in cold blood.”
While calling for the review of the Grazing Law, Agada said, “It must be emphasized that the Implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law which targets cows instead of the Fulanis who shepherd the cows leaves much to be desired.
“It is therefore our contention that Governor Ortom should immediately review this mode of enforcing the law and go after the violators of the law.”
He warned that the lingering insecurity in the state could pose a threat to the coming general elections saying “in view of the foregoing, we suggest that; Governor Ortom should immediately implement the General Atom Kpera committee’s recommendation of 2014 for peace to reign in Benue State between herders and farmers.”