Press focuses on mass burial of victims of killings by herdsmen, others

STEFAN HEUNIS  AFP  Getty Images

STEFAN HEUNIS AFP Getty Images

HURIWA said by the provisions of the land use Act recognized by the constitution only state governors and Houses of Assemblies have powers over land allocations in their states even as the rights group charged the Federal Government to stop dining and wining with suspected mass murderers but to order the armed security forces to deal decisively with terrorists and bring the full weight of the law on the mass killers masquerading as Fulani herdsmen.

"Some of us, in 1966, fought the Nigerian civil war; Benue has contributed to the unity of this country".

"Members of the Civilian JTF received weapons from the state governor Governor Ortom and his aides replenish ammunitions for these firearms whenever they are depleted "Members of the Civilian JTF had no prior training in the use of firearms but have been promised training by the state government".

Udende noted that the recent violence against the people was a clear manifestation of the earlier threat by the body to mobilize against the implementation of the law in the state.

He appealed to the government at the centre to replicate Operation Python Dance or Fulani Dance in Benue as being done in other states of the federation.

"We also demand that a state of emergency be immediately declared in Benue State and any other states where crisis between herders and farmers may break out in the nearest future so as to forestall any further deterioration of the crisis anywhere in the country".

The representative of the United Nations, Dr Mathins Ejibike, offered his condolences to the government and people of the state, saying what was happening in Benue required global attention.

He said the herders have failed if the killings were meant to coerce the administration into reversing the law. This is because we want to abide by the law. "I will continue to insist on the arrest of the factional leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Houre".

He said the herdsmen have attacked Benue 47 times in five years, attacks, he said were akin to an agenda of genocide.

In his funeral oration for victims of herdsmen killings, Avenya prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead and called for prayers for the survivors of the attacks.

Ortom rejected the idea of creating a cattle colony or grazing routes for herdsmen.

"Benue state must similarly be placed under emergency rule since its governor has not only confirmed his lack of capacity to arrest the situation but has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is a core part of the problem", Salawu said.

Akpen Leva, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, urged Benue citizens to unite irrespective of tribe, political and religious differences in order to tackle their enemies.

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