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March 2, 2024

Benue: Idoma women raise alarm over frequent killings, attacks

Benue: Idoma women raise alarm over frequent killings, attacks

…Call for establishment of Military barracks, State Police

By Emmanuel Elebeke, Abuja

Worried by the escalating rate of killings and other forms of attacks in the state, the Idoma Daughters and Wives Association, IDWA has raised the alarm, calling on the Federal and State Governments to collaborate with relevant agencies and organizations to address the plight of their people by arresting the ugly trend of armed criminality that has made life unbelievable in Idomaland.

As mothers, the IDWA said their hearts have continued to ache as they continue witnessing the wanton destruction of lives and the hardships their people are going through, especially in these challenging times in the nation’s history

And as responsible daughters and wives of Idoma nation united under the umbrella of Idoma Daughters and Wives Association, the IDW said, “we are constrained to raise our voice and draw attention of the world to the agony of our people”.

Addressing the press on Wednesday in Abuja, the President of Idoma Daughters and Wives Association, Dr. Sarah Ogah-Aduwari noted that Benue State over the years has been known as the “Food Basket of the Nation”, with predominantly agrarian population and fertile lands in the State that have contributed greatly in ensuring food security in Nigeria.

This trend , she said had unfortunately been reversed by pervasive insecurity that has enveloped the state in recent years, especially in the Benue South Senatorial District that is home to Idoma people, where suspected armed herdsmen have been invading Idomaland on consist basis.

According to her, this has led to death of thousands of Idoma people and destruction of property worth billions of naira, adding that part of Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu local government areas have been devastated by these armed groups.

“Many families have been displaced, and the people have fled their ancestral homes to take refuge in IDP camps. The crops our people have harvested have been destroyed by these suspected armed herdsmen and hunger has become the companion of peace loving people.
“Our people have lost their sole means of livelihood as they can no longer go to their farms due to the pervasive Insecurity occasioned by these armed attackers. Many of our settlements have been deserted because the people cannot sleep with their two eyes closed for fear of attacks of these armed marauders.

“As responsible mothers, we are constrained to raise our voice and draw attention of the world to the agony of our people”, she said.

The IDWA therefore used the medium to call on Federal and State Governments to collaborate with relevant agencies and organizations yo address the plight of their people by arresting the ugly trend of armed criminality that has made life unbelievable in Idomaland; establishing an army barracks in the Apa/Agatu axis of Idomaland; and to consider establishing State Police to promote community policing for efficiency and effectiveness.

The group also called on government at all levels to urgently address the growing suffering of the displaced families, and facilitate their return to their ancestral homes as well as increase food and medical supplies to areas where displaced people seek safety, especially in the IDP camps.

On what the IDWA is doing to maintain peace in the area, Dr. Sarah said, “We have been working on our children and husband’s not to engage in reprisal attacks whenever we were attacked and that is responsible for the relative peace we enjoy. But we need absolute peace so that development can take place in our land.”