Lawmaker calls for arrest Miyetti Allah leaders over Benue killings

  • Lawmaker calls for arrest Miyetti Allah leaders over Benue killings

Lawmaker calls for arrest Miyetti Allah leaders over Benue killings

Nigerians on Thursday wept as dozens of Benue residents who were killed in an attacked by alleged herdsmen on New Year's day were being buried.

The majority of the thousands of mourners who trooped into the IBB Square, Makurdi for the memorial service and the subsequent burial at the Mobile Barracks, in black attires, cursed and wept uncontrollably.

Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Peace and Security (CSGPS) on Thursday in Lagos called on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency in both Benue and Taraba states on account of series of killings occurring in the state brought about by rampaging Fulani herdsmen.

The Leadership newspaper said the Federal Government has given explanations for the establishment of cattle colonies as against the nomadic structure now going on.

"We sympathize with Governor Samuel Orton and the bereaved families if Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State".

The CSGPS president, while condemning the killings of scores of people in Benue, blamed the escalation of the crisis on the Civilian Joint Task Force set up after the passage of the Anti- Open Grazing Bill into Law, describing sponsorship of state militias by governors as unconstitutional.

He said, "I am telling Nigerians that my people can not continue to be cannon fodder for this country".

"I, therefore, call on the federal government to act swiftly by putting an end to this killings; this act of impunity must stop", he said. "We can not allow people to colonise us again, we have all it takes to do that", Unongo added.

Expressing his pains over the killings, a former military governor of Plateau and Katsina states, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Onoja (retd.), said he will throw his weight behind the "Tiv-Army" if the Federal Government fails in its part to protect the Benue people. "Aside the worldwide odium it will pour on the country, the current crop of federal officials may find themselves as guests at The Hague since there is all possibility that any indifference would equal an active support for the crimes being committed by officials of the second tier of government; there is the additional risk that the militias being armed by these governors would one day take on federal law enforcement personnel", he warned.

The Benue-born general said, "Some of us, in 1966, fought the Nigerian civil war; Benue has contributed to the unity of this country".

The National Chairman of the group, Honourable Kassim Mohammad Kassim, who briefed newsmen in Owerri, Imo State, declared that the comments of the Ekiti State Governor on the herdsmen killings and other national security issues were inciting and unbecoming of a leader.

He assured the United Nations would further discuss the details of the assistance with the Benue governor and prayed for peace in the state. We will not be deterred because I am ready to pay the supreme price for the implementation of the anti-open grazing law. "We should pray that this killing should be the last in Benue State".

He said the suggestions were not acceptable to the Benue people.