Posted by Cephas Iorhemen | 27 February 2018 | 1,562 times
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday disclosed that armed Fulani herdsmen, last week, invaded his village in Guma Local Government Area and killed more than 60 people, mostly farmers, while scores of others were rendered homeless, despite the launch of Ayem A Kpatuma (Cat Race) military exercise to check the excesses of the invaders.
This came as a group, Tiv Youth Organisation (TYO), called for the total overhaul of the security architecture of the nation to accommodate other nationalities in Nigeria. The governor disclosed this while speaking at the funeral site of 73 victims of Fulani herdsmen attack buried on January 11 in Makurdi where he led the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr. Paul Enenche, and his wife, Becky.
He said: “As at today, after the launch of the exercise Ayem A Kpatuma, there has been influx of over one million cattle into Benue territory. This is not acceptable, but we believe in the exercise that they will ensure that justice is given to us because we are law-abiding; we don’t want to take laws into our hands. We believe that the Federal Government, whose prerogative it is to ensure the enforcement of our law, will support us.
“After the burial of the 73 people killed by the herdsmen, more than 60 other people were killed just last week alone. These are innocent farmers who went to do their legitimate farm work. But thank God for Mr. President, we appreciate him for sending the Exercise Ayem A Kpatuma to the state. We were told it is not an operation, but an exercise.”
Ortom said the recent killings followed fresh incursion into the area by the herders who came in with over one million cattle into the now deserted communities. The governor appealed to the military to flush out the invaders so that the over 160,000 displaced people who were in eight camps could return to their homes.
Enenche, who anointed the land to break its yoke, declared that the burial would also connote the internment of government and security failure, impunity, jihadist agenda and all forms of evil in the country. The pastor prayed for God’s justice and judgement on the killers and their sponsors throughout the country and charged the earth to rise up against them.
He said: “The Bible made it clear that the loss of a life is an irreparable loss. The book of Mark, Chapter 8: 36, says ‘what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul’. So the loss of one life is an irreplaceable, irreparable loss, that is why we came to stand with the state to let the state know that God is aware of our mourning.”
But the TYO National President, Mr. Timothy Hembaor, who addressed a news conference in Makurdi, said the immediate overhaul of the security hierarchy would give room for true intelligence gathering and fair security play in the country.
He also urged the Federal Government to, immediately, direct troops of exercise Ayem A’ Kpatema to strictly adhere to professional conduct and put an immediate stop to the daily attacks, wanton killings and maiming of innocent, harmless, defenceless and law-abiding Tiv people of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.
Hembaor bemoaned the failure of the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute leaders of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and their sponsors who openly boasted about plans to carry out the New Year’s massacre. He said it was preposterous that the Fulani were claiming to be the original inhabitants of the Benue Valley, pointing out that the narrative had not been supported by any historical account.
He said: “The Tiv people are entitled to statutory rights over the lands of the Benue Trough where they have lawfully dwelt and earned a living from these past three centuries and have been so recognised by law.
“We shall never succumb to the threats of Miyetti Allah to cede any of our land for cattle colonies which is a disguise to get a foothold on our land.” (New Telegraph)
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