Herdsmen: Benue LGs, groups urge security at entry points

Benue local government chairmen and socio-cultural groups Monday called on the federal government to order deployment of special forces to entry points into Benue state that are usually used by herdsmen militia.

The chairmen also said 21 local government areas out of the 23 were affected by attacks by the herdsmen who they said are bent on eliminating the people and taking over their ancestral lands with their genocidal attacks.
The local government chairmen and Socio-cultural groups, which include Mdzough u Tiv, Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Ominyi Igede, named some of the points as Awe, Keana and Doma LGAs of Nasarawa state which serve as their safe haven.

Speaking at a press conference held Monday in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, chairman of Ukum local government area, Steve Ayua who read the press conference noted that the killers also come in through Mbakyol, Tyulugh from Jonwata on the Cameroon border, Moon and Yaav, Kashinbila and Tukun in Taraba state through Utenger Shitile in Katsina-Ala, Benue state.

He named other places to include Tungwa and Anyibe in Logo, Nyinjirr to Tse-Ahor along River Benue in Makurdi, among others.
He said both the chairmen and socio-cultural groups believe that deployment of troops to the affected areas will guarantee safety and enable the people return to their ancestral homes.
The Benue leaders alert the security agencies and the federal government that with the approach of the dry season, the seasonal movement of armed Fulani herders into Benue state in search of grazing lands and water points usually escalates the attacks on the farmers who are harvesting their crops.
“This situation in addition to the Fulani militia who have continued to wage guerrilla attacks throughout the raining season will lead to more killings and destruction of farmlands.
“We appeal to Operation Whirl Stroke to intensify surveillance, particularly at the crossing points into Benue state earlier listed to avert the loss of lives.

“Our earnest appeal goes to Operation Whirl Stroke and other security agencies to help our people return to their ancestral lands which are currently occupied by armed Fulani herdsmen,” he said.