MAKURDI – Suspected Fulani herdsmen are believed to have killed fifteen persons in Benue in the latest of the ongoing onslaught of herders against natives in the Middle Belt. Ten of the persons that were killed in Benue were from Tse Shan, Saghev, Guma Local Government Area while the other five were killed in Logo Local […]
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MAKURDI – Suspected Fulani herdsmen are believed to have killed fifteen persons in Benue in the latest of the ongoing onslaught of herders against natives in the Middle Belt.

Ten of the persons that were killed in Benue were from Tse Shan, Saghev, Guma Local Government Area while the other five were killed in Logo Local Government Area.

DAILY INDEPENDENT gathered that while the herdsmen militia attacked Logo about 9:30pm on Tuesday, they struck in Guma about 3a.m Wednesday.

Several persons were reported missing and many others injured.

Speaking to DAILY INDEPENDENT, the Chairman, Guma LGA, Anthony Shawon, said he earlier submitted the report of the killing of eight persons to the Special Adviser on Security, Colonel Paul Hemba (rtd).

The eight persons that were killed were attacked at a wake keep in the community.

He said two of the eight victims were students who came to write the National Examination Council (NECO) in the area.

The council chairman, however, stated that another group of two persons were later recovered in Guma after the first discovery was made by the locals and the remaining five in Logo.

The chairman explained that he received information that while retreating, the militia attacked several people along their route, which may have resulted in the death of additional persons along the road in Logo Local Government Area.

Shawon stated that both the dead and the injured had been conveyed to the General Hospital in Ggbajimba, Guma LGA.

Lt. Col. Paul Hembah, Security Adviser to the governor, said it was believed that the attack came from a base in Logo LGA.

Sources from Logo LGA that spoke with DAILY INDEPENDENT blamed the recent attacks on the withdrawal of military personnel of Operation Whirl Storm.

One of them said: “Following the Sunday withdrawal of soldiers stationed at Tse Igbur in Ukemberagya, Gaambe-Tiev Logo LG Benue State, Fulani armed militia attacked Tse Igbur village yesterday about 9.30pm, killed one person and wounded many.

“We earlier suspected sinister motives by the sudden withdrawal of security posted to this area. It appears like collaboration with killer herdsmen by the military.”

He further observed that “Tse Igbur, Chembe, Tse Abiem and Tyo-Afia communities are now living in palpable fear following the withdrawal of the soldiers.”

Meanwhile, the Benue House of Assembly has called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali.

The Assembly made the call in a resolution passed by the House during its sitting in Makurdi on Wednesday.

The Assembly condemned the statement credited to Mansur Dan-Ali, the Minister of Defence, that the Anti-Open Grazing Law be suspended.

The Assembly said members were compelled to move the motion as the statement by the minister was capable of causing a breach of the peace.

The Assembly also took a swipe at the president and the service chiefs for their inability to bring under control the killings in the state and the nation at large.

The lawmakers emphasised that neither President Buhari nor the Defence Minister had the constitutional powers to suspend or reverse the Anti-Open Grazing Law, adding that only the courts had the power to determine the fate of the law.

The issue was raised by the Majority Leader of the House, Benjamin Adanyi (Makurdi South), during its sitting on Wednesday under Matters of Urgent Importance.

Terkimbi Ikyange, Speaker, BNHA, announced the resolution of the House.

Describing the service chiefs as “a bunch of incompetent people”, the Benue legislators registered their displeasure over the recent recruitment exercise embarked upon by the police in which Arabic was included and made compulsory for applicants.

Earlier, Adanyi noted that Dan-Ali’s statement meant that Benue, Ekiti, and Taraba should suspend the Anti-Open Grazing Law.

He was worried that such statements were coming from one whose responsibility was to safeguard lives and property and at a meeting where the president and service chiefs were represented.

According to Adanyi, the reasons advanced by the Defence Minister for taking the position were barren and capable of worsening the security situation in the state.

He said: “It is very shameful for a minister of defence to speak like a woman in a marketplace.

“The comments he made are capable of causing a breach of peace and compound the security problem the state is already having.”

In his contribution, member representing Ohimini Constituency, Chris Adaji, who seconded the motion, said the president had surrounded himself with incompetent people who could not proffer solutions to the problems confronting Nigeria.

Member representing Tarka Constituency, Bem Mngutyo, suggested that the minister be investigated as his comment was an indication that he was a sponsor of killings by herdsmen in the country.

The Benue State government, which also reacted to the “offensive” statement by Dan-Ali, advised the minister to urgently retract the statement which was capable of breaching the peace.

Briefing newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday, Commissioner of Information, Lawrence Onoja Jnr, said: “We call on Mansur Dan-Ali to as a matter of urgency withdraw this highly offensive statement against Benue State and the victims of herdsmen killings in the state.

“Over 500 Benue indigenes have so far lost their lives to herdsmen invasion in parts of the state.

“We view this latest statement as only serving to embolden these herdsmen militia to unleash more attacks on Benue as the various Miyetti Allah groups have used the anti-open grazing law to invade Benue and lay false claim on the ancestral land of the Benue people.

“The Defence Minister is yet to publicly call for the arrest and prosecution of the Miyetti Allah leaders who have openly threatened more bloodshed in Benue on account of the Anti-Open Grazing Law,” the commissioner stressed.

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Source:Independent Newspapers Nigeria