Abril 21, 2018

Communal violence kills 83 in Nigeria since December 31

13 Enero 2018, 10:27 | Martinez Canez

Buhari, Ortom in crucial meeting over Benue killings

Herdsmen killing: Ortom rejects cattle colonies, supports military option

President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, are now in a closed door meeting in the Presidential Villa over the Benue killings.

Tensions between Fulani herdsmen and farmers have heightened since Benue state passed an anti-grazing law leaving the herdsmen with nowhere to graze their cows.

Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state Rev. Akpen Leva also accused President Buhari of long silence over "the persistent massacre of Benue people by herdsmen", saying it "is a Jihadist agenda against Benue people".

"It will obviously affect the food security of the state as the two local government areas that were attacked are among the most food-producing zones of the state". Meanwhile an aide to the president has reported a meeting between the president and Benue State governor as at Tuesday morning.

Thursday has been declared a work-free day in Benue to enable workers to attend the funeral of the victims, according to a statement by the government. So where is the malice when people refer to them as Fulani herdsmen? Nigerians are anxious to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors but is President Buhari willing and in a position to guarantee that?

Earlier, speaker after speaker had criticised the IGP for describing the herdsmen attacks on Benue communities as mere communal clashes, insisting that it was nothing short of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The commissioner said he had been to the local government where the killer herdsmen are allegedly using as hideouts but found no immediate leads.

The attacks in Benue have been seen as a response by the mainly nomadic herders to the introduction of a law banning open grazing in the state.

Following the New Year's attacks that claimed at least 50 lives, on January 5-6 Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed at least 15 Christians in the predominantly Christian Logo area's Tombu and other villages, sources said.

No fewer than 50,000 people were reportedly displaced by a string of attacks on the villages which are occupied mostly by farmers.

On Nov. 26, 2017, over 500 people were missing following a suspected herdsmen attack on a Tiv community in the state.

"They killed some of my colleagues and the neighbors that were there all died", said the father-of-two whose face had been cut and whose hands and legs were heavily bandaged.

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