Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A lawmaker representing Katsina-Ala, Ukum and Logo Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Emmanuel Udende, has condemned in strong terms the wanton killing of over 73 people by Fulani herdsmen in parts of his constituency Logo and Guma in Benue State, even as he accused leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH) of masterminding the attacks, calling for their arrest and prosecution.
The Federal lawmaker described the unprovoked attacks on his constituents as barbaric and wicked, stressing that the aim for the invasion was to dislodge the farming communities from their homes during the time of harvest.
He recounted how MAKH, a splinter body of cattle breeders in the country, had issued threats to invade the state if the state implements the anti-open grazing law, which sought to bring to an end to incessant cases of herders/farmers clashes.
Udende noted that the recent violence against the people was a clear manifestation of the earlier threat by the body to mobilize against the implementation of the law in the state. He called on security agencies to immediately arrest leaders of the group.
In a press statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Jerry Iorngaem, and made available to journalists in Makurdi, the lawmaker expressed disappointment with the Federal Government in the manner it has handled the crisis, questioning why the Inspector General of Police would describe the invasion as a communal clash when it is obvious that the herdsmen carried out the attacks without any reprisal attack from the farmers.
Udende, who is Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, stated that the Benue State Government and other stakeholders had earlier drawn the attention of security agencies and the Federal Government to the impending herdsmen attack, but no serious security measures were put in place to protect the people – a negligence which finally resulted to the recent attacks
While sympathizing with the families of those that were massacred in the attacks, as well as those who were injured and the displaced, Udende charged them to remain calm as the Benue state government, in collaboration with stakeholders in the state, were doing everything humanly possible with the view to protecting them from further attacks and to also ensure justice for victims of this act of cruelty.
He expressed his total support and that of his constituents to the continued implementation of the anti-open grazing law in the State, stating that it remained the best global practice in the business of cattle rearing and must be encouraged
The lawmaker charged President Muhamadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, direct security agencies to rise up to their responsibility of securing the lives of Benue people.