Former governor of Benue State and current senator representing Benue North East Senatorial District, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, has said from what he saw, the time had come for Benue people to rise up and defend themselves from killer herdsmen.
Suswam, who was reacting to the recent invasion and killing of farmers including a police officer at Gbeji in Ukum local government area of Benue State, attributed the killings to the failure of the federal government to protect lives and property of citizens.
This is even as the death toll from the attack rose from 23 to 36, with several others still missing.
Senator Suswam who made his views known during a visit to the area to commiserate with victims and people of his constituency over the invasion said the president had further demonstrated ineptitude and lackadaisical attitude in protecting the lives of the people whom he swore to protect.
He said a week ago, he had visited Mchia in Logo local government area which is the same area as Gbeji where 22 persons were murdered and several others were injured by herdsmen.
“Since the federal government has gone to sleep and does not care about the security of the people it is time for them to rise up and defend themselves, we cannot continue to allow herdsmen terrorists to keep on killing these peasant farmers and destroying their property.
“I want to commend the bravery and gallantry of our security agencies but they are overstretched and I want to say here that I cannot sleep in Abuja while our mothers who are producing food that we eat are killed in this way,” Suswam said.
Earlier, Governor Samuel Ortom reiterated his earlier call on the federal government to arm the state security outfit with AK-47 rifles to effectively protect the people.
The governor who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Prof. Anthony Ijohor, also said the state government was profiling displaced persons for adequate assistance.