A pastor with True Life Church, Pastor Dave Ogbole has described the two weeks given by the federal government before the commencement of “Operation Cat Race” in Benue State to curb alleged herdsmen killings as a deliberate ploy to give the killers time to go out so that the army will move in and harass Benue youths.
Pastor Ogbole who made this known during the visit of the Federal Government Committee On Sustainable Peace On Farmers/Herdsmen Crises In Benue and the Country, said the inability of the federal government to live up to its responsibility by arresting the perpetrators of the dastardly act on innocent Benue citizens has made the state to completely loss confidence in the belated Operation Cat race which according to him was meant to harass Benue youths.
“Why didn’t the federal government give the same time in other states where operations like python dance and others were being operated by the military? We have patiently obeyed the rule of law, we fought for the unity of this country and I am saying, enough is enough if it means going outside the law to get justice we will do that, with fear of nobody.
I want the federal government to be aware that Benue as a middle belt state is like a tree through which every state is hanging on, and if they allow this belt to loose the country will go naked,” he added.
The committee which has the vice president, Yemi Osinbanjo, as it chairman, was represented in Benue by the Ebonyi State governor David Umahi who said they were in the state at the instance of the federal government to hear from stakeholders, farmers, herdsmen and security agencies in order to chart the way forward on how to stem the crises.
Umahi, who said the committee was in the state on a fact finding mission however denied allegation that the committee is seeking for the donation of five hectares of land from each state government for the establishment of cattle colonies.
According to him the federal government has not given such directives to the committee.
In his remarks, the Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Wilfred Anagbe, explained that between 2011 and 2012 there was massive attack in Benue and so many lives were lost, while from 2013 to date the attacks became a gorilla war fare.
“It baffles me that it is only in Nigeria which is described as the giant of Africa that cattle are even moving freely at the airport, what I want to tell this committee is that the political future of this country is going to be determined by the outcome of this committee’s report,” he noted.
Bishop Ananagbe, further explained that in the past the Tiv people were living in peace with the Fulani because the population was not up to what it is today.
“And if I may ask why is the federal government given incentives to cattle rearers at the expense of any other farming in Nigeria, why is the poultry or piggery farm not given incentives?” he queried.
In his response, Governor Samuel Ortom commended the committee and urged them to work assiduously in ensuring lasting solution to the problem even as he maintained that ranching remains the best option for the state.
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