Aggrieved Benue indigenes under the auspices of Community Development Coalition, CDC, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to pay a visit to the state and personally access the scenes of gruesome murder of their loved ones by suspected Fulani herdsmen. The group, which made the call at a press conference in Abuja, insisted that after accessing the spots of the crimes, the President must address the people of the State on the alleged genocide which resulted in deaths of over 100 people and wanton destruction of property worth billions of naira.
CDC, is an Abuja based advocacy group of concerned indigenes of Benue State, with Professor Yima Sen as a convener. According to the text of the text of the press briefing read by Chief Cliff Atile, the group said sending the Inspector General of police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris to Benue state was NOT enough step to restore confidence to the Benue people that the killing will not continue.
Justifying the call for Mr. President’s visit, the group said, “as a demonstration of the level of impunity and defiance with which they operate, these attacks continued even while the Minister of Interior was still visiting Benue”.
“We are left with no option than to consider that the President, who by the way, is the grand Patron of Miyeti Allah, has turned a blind eye and is bent on keeping a deaf ear to these atrocities, or that he is actively involved in these diabolical and outrageous schemes”.
“It is only against this background that one may appreciate the conduct of President Buhari and the managers of the security architecture of our country.”
Chief Atile recalled that, since the inception of this administration which the Benue people laboured hardly to enthrone in May 29, 2015, “There have been at least 20 vicious attacks on defenseless Benue communities, the first being on July 7, 2015, and the most recent being in the early hours of January 2, 2018.
“More than 100 precious lives have been lost in the process and property worth billions of naira destroyed, and economic activities hampered or impeded. What is particularly disturbing is the level of insensitivity that has characterized the usual slow, belated, lackluster and knee jerk response of the Federal Government, and particularly, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We find it completely unacceptable that this last attack was actually preceded by a proud and arrogant boast by known officials of Miyeti Allah Kautal Hore, the socio-cultural association of herdsmen, to the effect that Benue will know no peace.
“This statement was made in response to the passage into law of the Open Grazing Prohibition law, a piece of legislation validly passed into law by the Benue State House of Assembly and assented by His Excellency, Governor of Benue state, as guaranteed by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution.”
The CDC, however resolved that no amount of killings, intimidation and threats will stop the full implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law and in this regard, we will do all that is legally possible and humanly permissible to ensure that this law takes its fullest course”
It also warned that, “Having clearly failed in the constitutional responsibility of government to ensure our security and welfare, we have no option that to take our destiny into our hands. No longer shall we rely on an inept, deficient, compromised and grossly ineffective security apparatus for our protection. We shall rise up in unison and take our destiny in our hands. Enough is enough.
No force, no matter how strong or effective can defeat a determined and united people. We call on all sons and daughters of Benue, at home and in Diaspora, to unite and stand as one, and across party lines or other imaginary divides.
What we are confronted with is a situation that will test our resolve and one which will test our unity as a people and our ability to rise up from adversity, and do that the circumstances demand of us. We are capable of rising to the occasion and this is only the beginning.