Nigeria: Herdsmen Enjoying Support of Highly Placed Nigerians – Benue State Govt.

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Nigeria: Herdsmen Enjoying Support of Highly Placed Nigerians - Benue State Govt.

Piqued by statements credited to top government functionaries over the Benue killings, the state government has insisted that the rampaging killer herdsmen attacking various communities in the state are enjoying the backing and support of highly-placed Nigerians.

Addressing reporters yesterday in Makurdi, over the call by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for a repeal of Benue State’s anti-open grazing law which the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had claimed was responsible for the killings, Benue State Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja, Jnr alleged that such remarks were clear indications that highly-placed Nigerians were fueling the killings.

Onoja, who recounted the over 46 times Benue communities came under the attack of suspected herdsmen in the last five years before the commencement of enforcement of the grazing law on November 1, 2017, noted that the claim that the killings were triggered by the grazing law was untrue and baseless.

He said: “The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, accused Governor Samuel Ortom of causing the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and Nasarawa states. He is reported to have spoken at a closed-door meeting with members of the joint Senate Committee on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence on killings in Benue and environs when he appeared before the committee in response to the Senate’s summons.

“The IGP is said to have identified the implementation of the anti-open grazing law and the arming of Tiv militia as causes of the crisis.

“Such statements coming from some of the nation’s top security chiefs may have confirmed the fears expressed by many people that the herdsmen unleashing murderous attacks on Benue may have the backing of some highly-placed individuals within the security apparatus of the state.

“When those who are entrusted with the sensitive task of protecting lives and property of innocent Nigerians resort to placing unjustified blame on the good intentions of Benue State government to promote peace and security, then such people have unknowingly or knowingly become part of the problem we have on our hands today in the country.

On Miyetti Allah’s threat

“When the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore rose against the grazing law and threatened to invade the state, Governor Samuel Ortom, the Benue State House of Assembly, and leaders of all the socio-cultural organizations in the state petitioned the Presidency and all the relevant security agencies in the country. No action was taken by those saddled with the responsibility to protect lives and property at the national level.

“The state government also recalled that IGP Ibrahim Idris was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari to relocate to Benue State in the wake of the New Year Day 2018 killings in the state to restore peace and order but available records show that the police chief was sighted in the state for just a day or so and then left immediately.

“The Police IGP’s initial casual description of the pre-planned Benue killings by Fulani herdsmen on the 1st and 2nd of January, 2018 as a mere ‘communal clash’ has clearly shown that the Police boss does not accord any urgency and seriousness to arresting the perpetrators of the mass murder of our people and his body language may have emboldened these herdsmen militia to further lay false claim of ownership to the Benue Valley through a so-called right of conquest.

“We reiterate that until the masterminds and sponsors of the killings in Benue State are arrested, we will not trust or have confidence in the IGP of Police.

As published on Vanguardngr

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