Herdsmen Attack In Benue State: Time To Call A Spade, A Spade


It’s unimaginal to know that the continous attack and killings of innocent Nigerians and security officials by the dreaded Fulani Herdsmen in Benue State has been taking with kid gloves by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration without any stern action to curtail or arrest the perpetrators of those evil acts to book.

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Residents of six communities such as Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo and Turan all in Logo Local
Government Area as well as Umenger, Tse-Akor and Tomatar near Tse-Abi in Nongov District of Guma Local government area
of Benue State began the New Year on a sad note when about 50 persons were cruelly murdered in a cold blood by Fulani herdsmen.

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Casualties included women, children and some members of the Live Stock Guards who were assigned to enforce the anti-open grazing law and many people were seriously injured.

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The raids by nomadic Fulani herdsmen are considered as the biggest security threat facing Nigeria after the Boko Haram insurgency.

The herdsmen, mainly from the Fulani ethnic group, and farmers often clash for control of water and land (grazing territories).

According to the Global Terrorism Index, over 1,200 people were killed in 2014 by different groups of Fulani herders.

Before now, the Fulani Herdsmen have attacked innocent Nigerians in Delta, Enugu, Edo, Adamawa, Ekiti, Imo, Ogoja in Cross River State and Zamfara State; Kidnap and killing of His Royal Majesty, Akaeze Ofulue III of the Ubulu-Uku in Delta State.

Saddly, on Thursday, huge crowds turned out in central Nigeria at a funeral service for scores of people killed during clashes between cattle herders and farming communities.

Tens of thousands of people, many of them dressed in black, gathered in Ibrahim Babangida Square in the Benue state capital, Makurdi, for the ceremony before a mass burial on the outskirts of the city.

Emergency officials told AFP on Tuesday that 80 people had been killed and some 80,000 forced from their homes since the start of the year, in violence that has seen mounting calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to act.

However, Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has asserted that the anti-grazing law in the state will not be repealed despite the recent
heinous attacks by the Fulani herdsmen.

Justifying the law, the Governor insisted that ranching “is the best way to go and it is in
conformity with global best practices”.

This wasn’t the first time that such attack would be taking part in Benue State without any tangible attempt by the Nigeria Police Force to bring the perpetrators of such acts to book despite their huge promises.

It is also alarming to imagin how the Fulani Herdsmen are allowed the time and chance to be in possession of a sophisticated weapons such as AK47 for cattle rearing, only to use it to attack innocent farmers, destroyed their farmland and houses.

The question on the lips of most Nigerians is that are the Fulani Herdsmen a ghost that they can’t be arrested?

Or could this be a conspiracy theory from the part of the Federal Government and other political juggernauts in the society considering the fact that, the military were used to combat the ‘harmless’ Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the Southeast who were proscribed as Terrorist group by the FG while in the South-South, the military was also used to tame the activities of Niger Delta Militants and other forms of militancy in the region.

Why then have they refused to use the military to combat the Fulani Herdsmen in the Northern part in a bid to checkmate their activities before things get out of hand?

Again, this could also be another form of tactics by Boko Haram to inflict pain and grief on innocent citizens of the country knowing fully that the Nigeria army have reduced the potency of their activities in the country.

Many believed some of the Fulani Herdsmen are foreigners in Niger and Chad who have gained access to the country through our weak borders. While some claims they are Nigerians who have been radicalised by the doctrine of Boko Haram.

Whatever the case may be, it is high time the Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari takes decisive action on the Fulani Herdsmen rather than looking at it from the point of over population in the country for the poor security challenges.

What if any of their family members are among the victims, perhaps the situation would have been different?

If proper plans are not put in place to checkmate the activities of the Fulani Herdsmen, who murdered 73 innocent souls in Benue State, the nation may be inviting a potential uprise not just in Benue State but in other parts of Nigeria.

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