Women protesters yesterday besieged the Benue State Government House demanding President Muhammadu Buhari to end the killings of local farmers in Benue communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The women who were wailing and carrying gory posters of women and children killed by herdsmen in the New Year attacks on communities in Logo and Guma local government areas interrupted the meeting between the minister of Interior, Governor Ortom, serving senators in the state and other stakeholders.
The women expressed worry over the laxity of the federal government in ending the killing of innocent people by the herdsmen.
Leader of the women, Mrs. Rebecca Apezan said the problem between the herdsmen and farmers in the state started since 2012 and questioned why it has been so difficult and taken so long for the federal government to deal with it.
“This problem of Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Benue State started since 2012 and has continued to linger without the attention of the federal government.
“When we were voting President Buhari we had in mind that Fulani herdsmen are his people and he know the language he will speak with them, they will understand, but today the opposite is the case.
What is our crime? Have we committed a crime voting for President Buhari? President Buhari has lived in Benue before and knows very well that the Tiv people are friendly, why is he putting us to shame?
We voted for the president massively but what have we gotten? He is sitting on the fence when the herdsmen are killing our people. We have been marginalized but we have remained peaceful and committed to the government,
How can we not cry? Look at how our children, husbands, wives and parents are being slaughtered like animals,’” she lamented.
She pleaded with the president to immediately end the killings in the state and threatened that if the killings were not put to an end, Benue women will he forced to occupy the president’s resident until the problem is solved.
“We want the president to end these killings now, we want the
president to call the Fulani militia to order, we want the president
to protect us, that is the mandate we gave him. We cannot be orphans
in our land,” she said.
Also speaking, president of the Nigeria Non Governmental Organisation
Network, (NINGONET) Mrs Josephine Haba, lamented the humanitarian
situation caused by the invasions in the state.
She called on the United Nations, federal government, agencies and
individuals to intervene and come to the aide of the victims.
Earlier governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom urged the women to be
calm saying that he has already reported the incidents and has already
started receiving positive response.
He however called for immediate arrest of leadership of Miyetti Allah
Kautal Hore, insisting that they were behind the attack, having
threatened before that they would mobilise their people and resist the
anti-open grazing law.
“But as we have seen the minister we know that the president himself
is here, what Fulani people have done to us is worse than what Boko
Haram has done in the north, because the 250 Chibok girls were not
killed but were taken to Sambisa Forest and were not killed but in our
case, our people are killed and slaughtered like goats by the
Since this people are worse than Boko Haram the president should
declared them as terrorists, treat them as such and handle them with
every seriousness”, he said
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