Benue APC  indicts Ortom, Fulani militia over killings of innocent people

APC chairman, Benue State Chapter, Agada addressing a press conference in Makurdi, flanked by other party EXCO

…appeals to Ortom, Fulani militia to tread path of peace

By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Benue State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has  accused the governor of  Benue State, Samuel Ortom and the Fulani militia for the continuous killing of the innocent People of the state.

They also called on the governor  and the Fulani militia to see the need to tread the path of peace and refrain from all activities that have led to the escalation of security breaches in Gwer – West, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of the state.

The party has also explained that the call has become necessary in the light of the renewed rustling of cows  by Livestock Guards and Community Volunteer Guards under the guise of enforcing the Open Grazing Prohibition law  on the one hand and the Fulani militia’s counter attacks against the innocent people of the state who have no links with either rustling of cows nor the enforcement of the law.

The chairman of APC , Benue State Chapter, Comrade Austin Agada made the accusations during a press conference titled; Cow rustling, security breaches and the renewed state of killings of the innocent Ihyarev people of Gwer – West, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State by the Fulani Militia; An appeal for restraint on both sides and other related matters.

According to him, it has become necessary to address members of the public on matters that are capable of truncating all plans and efforts of INEC to give Nigerians  and indeed the state a credible election, if not immediately nipped in the bud.

He emphasized that the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law which targets cows instead of the Fulani’s who shepherd the cows leave much to be desired and added that it is their party contention that the state governor should review the mode of enforcing the law and go after the perceived law violators.

Agada further stated that it was no longer news that the Ihyarev nation has suffered untold hardship as Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs), under the Ortom administration as a result of the episodic circle of cow rustling and Fulani militia attacks especially during the election seasons, a situation that has led the APC as a party to conclude that the attacks are predetermined to achieve a particular political objective.

He pointed out that with the 2023 general elections around the corner, the Community Volunteer Guards have systematically embarked on cows rustling in Gwer – West, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of the state under the instruction of the governor with the attendant consequences of spontaneous Fulani militia killing of one person in Mbapa council ward of Gwer- West Local Government Area , eight persons in Makurdi on the 19th January, 2023, and eight persons in Guma Local Government Area on the 20th of January, 2023 , all within the Ihyarev dominated communities.

The  APC Chairman stressed that the prevailing atmosphere of politically induced insecurity in most parts of the state calls for the urgent concern of all Benue patriots.

He further disclosed that available information indicted that on Wednesday 18th January, 2023, over 600 herds of cattles were rustled in Shangev council ward of Gwer – West Local Government Area and kept at the Local Government Guest House at Naka , the objective was to trigger reprisal attacks against Gwer – West people by the herders.

“We roundly condemn this development and urge Gov Ortom to desist from spilling more blood.

” In view of the foregoing, we suggest that Governor Ortom should immediately implement the General Atom Kpera Committee’s recommendation of 2014 for peace to reign in Benue State  between herders and farmers .” Agada maintained.

The APC Chairman  also called on the leadership of the Fulanis in Nigeria to immediately direct the Fulani militia to lay down arms and allow peace to reign, and as well called on the security agencies to demonstrate capacity in intelligence.