As the killings of people by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Benue State continue unabated, a group in the state has vowed to mobilise people of the state to defend the anti-open grazing law.
The group known as ” Benue Youth Forum” made the vow on Saturday during a press conference held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Recall that the State Governor, Samuel Ortom had on Tuesday claimed that 70 people were killed in some local government areas of the state within two weeks.
After the governor’s disclosure, killings by suspected herdsmen had continued in the state.
President of Benue Youth Forum, Terrence Kuanum said that the Fulani herdsmen and their cohorts have taken the peaceful disposition of the people of the state to lack of courage but vowed that Benue people this time are ready to defend its laws and their land from being taken away.
Kuanum said, “Let us make this loud and clear that the entire Benue State is fully mobilized to defend its laws and land against any threat posed by members of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and any other violent Fulani group.
“We are a peace loving people but our peaceful and hospitable disposition should not be taken as fear or lack of courage,” stressing that no part of Benue will be given for RUGA or Cattle Colony.
The group condemned the statement of Mallam Garba Sheu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Major General Muhammad Buhari retd, expressing president disappointment over Governor Ortom’s call.
The youth leader advised the president’s spokesman to address objectively the issues raised by Governor Samuel Ortom in his patriotic call on the president to act fast and declare a state of emergency on security and also call for a National Security Summit.
He added that the media aide did not bother to caution the herders to stop the killings.
Kuanum reminded the president’s spokesman that the National Economic Council had laid to rest the issue of RUGA and Cattle Colony in Nigeria.
“It was amazing how Garba Shehu in his drive to please his paymaster, saw the rejection of the RUGA and Cattle Colony by Benue People as a reason for the renewed killing of our people.
“We have been on this road before with Garba Shehu and his cohorts the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and other killer headsmen and we know their intentions but the resolve of Benue people remains unflinching that there is no land for RUGA and Cattle Colonies in the state.
The group called on Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency to rehabilitate the over 1million people in various IDP camps in the state to enable them to return to their ancestral homes and to also release the N10 billion it promised for resettlement of those affected by the Fulani herdsmen attacks in 2018.