By Pembi David-Stephen, Abuja
The Tiv Diaspora Forum has resolved to petition the National Assembly on public hearing regarding the continued attack on Benue communities by unknown gunmen.
In a press statement jointly signed by Prof. Joseph T. Zume (USA), Son Kai Gyoh (Ph.D) (Ireland), Mr. Kuram Gwakyaa (United Kingdom) and Pharm. Amom Tor-Anyiin (Canada) and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the forum said, “It is with great consternation but a strong faith in the pre-eminence of justice over inequity that we have resolved to continue engaging the government of our beloved country and the Nigerian public, over this Fulani herdsmen issue.
“The invasion, displacement, and killing of farmers in farming communities across Benue state have continued to date. By recent news accounts, at least 4-5 more attacks have happened since our appeal.
“For example, newspapers of May 9th reported attacks on Tse Akaa, Mba Abaji, and Tse Oralu villages in Logo local government area, where at least 15 people were killed and many displaced. Again, on May 11th, the Daily Trust reported a second herdsmen attack on Logo (in less than five days) in Mbakuur District as well as another in the neighbouring Mbaya Council of Buruku local government area, all leaving several persons dead and many more displaced.”
The statment added that, “The IDPs in the state have continued to suffer with no assistance from the federal government in sustaining the IDP camps. Concerns of teaming citizens and people directly affected by these crises are been deliberately ignored by the various arms of government that should be responding to the senseless killing frenzies and displacement of rural communities by Fulani herdsmen.
“Having considered the above, and following the apparent abdication of responsibility by the Federal government in failing to prevent these glaring atrocities, we are left with no choice but to initiate efforts at creating international awareness regarding the brewing crisis in Nigeria that could potentially escalate into a serious regional humanitarian crisis. It has become urgent that the international community is aware of the existential threat and human rights violations that confront farming communities across Nigeria, particularly in the Benue valley, and the catastrophic regional implications of famine and mass migration.
“We are aware of some effort by the Benue State government to placate the herdsmen but there has been no effort by the nomads to change their violent ways. We are also aware that this issue has previously been raised by our representatives at the federal houses and, as a diaspora group, we will seek to make a formal submission to the senate demanding a hearing on the comprehensive report documenting the atrocities and the groundswell of IDPs from 2010 to date.”