Leaders of major ethnic groups in Benue State yesterday lamented the killing of scores of their loved ones and the destruction of ‘inestimable’ property by armed Fulani herdsmen insurgents.
The position of the ethnic leaders came as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) North Central has called on the federal government to end the killing of innocent people in Benue State and other states in the country.
The groups, the Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede at a joint media briefing in Makurdi, the state capital also vowed to ensure that no part of the state is ceded to Fulanis to encourage the establishment of their Emirate council or for open grazing which has since been jettisoned by the National Economic Council, NEC.
A Leader of the groups and President-General of the Mdzough U Tiv, Engr. Edward Ujege, implored people of the state to continue to be law abiding citizens and not give in to the daily provocation from the assailants.
Chief Ujege sympathised with the Catholic community on the killing of the two priests and other worshippers at the Mbalom Church, expressing confidence that at the end of the day, victory will be the innocent people.
He decried reports that Tiv youths had attacked and killed ten Muslims and set ablaze four Mosques with others missing following the attack on Saint Ignatius Quasi Parish in Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State during which the worshippers were killed.
Chief Ujege described the report as “a well-planned agenda by our traducers to change the narrative in the state”.
“It must be noted that in the face of unprovoked and horrendous attacks on farming communities in the state, our youth have at all times been implored to be law-abiding while cooperating with security agencies to arrest the security situation in the state”.
“We have lost hundreds of souls of our loved ones to herdsmen attack on our communities. We have lost inestimable worth of resources to the attacks, but we are certain that our killers will not go scot-free; they will be tried and punished because we know them”.
“Let our traducers continue to sponsor unsubstantiated allegations to whip sentiments for the realization of their agenda which is to take over our ancestral land and establish an Emirate Council in the state”.