By Lawal A. Dogara, Kaduna
A community of Benue State indigenes resident in Kaduna have called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency declare Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and its leadership a terrorist group. The community made the call under the auspices of Mdzough U Tiv.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, members of the Tiv community led by its President, Shimakyaa Iorkyase also asked Tor Tiv, HRM Prof. James Ortese Ayatse, to revoke the title of Zege Mule U Tiv given to the Former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as he is not living up to the expectations of the title of “the big shield” given to him.
According to Iorkyase, “As peaceful and accommodating as the Tiv people are, there is the grand plan to exterminate us and occupy our God-given land by Fulani herdsmen.
“In their quest to resist the anti-open grazing legislation already operational in Benue State and take over the State as threatened on 23rd October 2017 and reported by the Leadership Newspaper of 24th October, 2017, on 1st of January 2018 at about 10:00am, Fulani Herdsmen mindlessly attacked peaceful and harmless Church goers in Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo and Turan in Logo Local Government Area. On the same day, in Nongov district of Guma Local Government Area, Umenger, Tse-Akor, and Tomatar near Tse-Abi were ruthlessly attacked; killing over 59 people with over two hundred injured and properties worth hundreds of millions smashed.
We voted massively for the APC led federal government and cannot accept the killing of our wives, Children, brothers and sisters as the dividend.
“We, unequivocally stand with Our Governor, His Excellency Dr. Samuel Ortom, the government and people of Benue State over the full implementation of the anti -open grazing law – People who have livestock should ranch as it is applicable in most civilised countries of the world. We are Farmers and cannot allow cows to take over our farms!
“We are in total agreement with Distinguished Senator Shehu Sani when he said and I quote: ‘Helmsmen must confront Herdsmen. One minute silence and repeated words of condolences and sympathy cannot address the problem or end the bloodshed’.
“We cannot continue to watch our harmless brothers and sisters being wiped off maliciously. We therefore resolved that, Federal government should declare Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and its leadership a terrorist group.
“We demand that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to personally visit to see the level of destruction and console the government and people of Benue State.
“The leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore having been proscribed as a terrorist group be arrested and prosecuted to prove that the Federal government has no hands in the killing.
“We condemn in strongest terms the statement accredited to the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Idris Ibrahim that the planned genocide in Benue State was a communal disputes. This is the most unprofessional statement of the year!
“We therefore refuse to accept the claim by Alhaji Garus Gololo (Benue State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association) that Tiv men rustled 1000 Fulani cows and as such they came back killing innocent people in retaliation. Where on earth is human live a replacement for stolen cows?
“That, the Federal Government should investigate the immediate and remote causes with a view to bringing to book the perpetrators and compensating the victims.