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Killings : Civil Society Groups Demand State Of Emergency In Benue, Taraba

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The Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Peace and Security (CCGP) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Benue state as well as in Taraba State due to the renewed hostilities in Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State.

Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Lagos, National President of the coalition, Otunba Kola Salawu also urged the Federal Government to set up judicial commissions of enquiry to probe the involvement of the state governors in the farmers, herders’ crises.

While condemning the killings of scores of people in Benue, the group blamed the escalation of the crisis on the Civilian Joint Task Force set up after the passage of the Anti- Open Grazing Bill into Law.

It said sponsorship of state militias by governors is unconstitutional, while advising the governors to immediately step down to allow for investigation on the extent of his involvement in the massacre.

“The youths he (the governor) misled with the uniform of Livestock Guards, after signing the law, brazenly went on an extortion spree against herders while not a few of them appropriated the said law to engage in cattle rustling”, the President said.

Salawu advised the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and stop state sponsorship of militias from festering as the consequence of it would fall on its head.

He urged FG to deploy military to the two states to suppress activities of militias in the two states.

“We have no other option than to indict the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, for spending more energy in stoking the fires of division as opposed to delivering the dividends of democracy to those that elected him”, he said.

Speaking further, the National President added, “The essence of the briefing is therefore to call on the Federal Government to immediately declare a State of Emergency in Taraba State and any other state where the governor as the Chief Security Officer willfully allows the security situation to degenerate to the point where mass murder is committed.

“The declaration of a State of Emergency in Taraba State will allow for full scale investigation and also stop the militias armed by the governor from further harming any ethnic group to cause unnecessary crisis in the polity for political reasons.



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