By Chimezie Godfrey
An Abuja based advocacy group, Community Development Coalition (CDC), has declared that to Benue people have had enough of the incessant killings and destruction of lives and properties by Fulani herdsmen in their state. The group of concerned indigenes of Benue State said Thursday: ‘enough is enough.’
This declaration was made at a press conference tagged ‘End The Benue Genocide’ held at the Royal Choice Inn, Abuja. The convener of the event, Prof. Yima Sen who was represented by Chief Cliff Atile described as unfortunate the continued attack of the people of Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State.
“Benue is in the news again! Unfortunately for wrong reasons – the cowardly and despicable killing of innocent persons numbering over 100,and the wanton destruction of property in Guma and logo Local government Areas by Fulani herdsmen. This is one incident too many and we declare that enough is enough indeed enough!”, he said.
Chief Atile, said the declaration was in response to the recent attack, and with the primary objective of ensuring that the perpetrators are not only identified and brought to justice, but also ensuring the highest level of security and protection for the citizens.
He said in the short term the group intends to interface with the traditional and political leadership at various levels within and outside of Benue state to achieve the full implementation of the anti-Open Grazing Law, to promote the overall political, economic, and developmental interest of Benue State, and to ensure the emergence of a reliable and sustainable community driven defence and security system.
Atile, lamented that his people have not only become the target of sustained and vicious attacks, in a carefully orchestrated diabolical scheme, but a people under constant displacement, always running from their ancestral home,and a laughing stock among other minority groups in Nigeria.
“This is not the time for us to lament. No! We say a resounding no to lamentation. This is the time to rise up from the ashes and reclaim our pride of place. Enough is enough,’ he asserted.
He said that it was completely unacceptable that this last attack was actually preceded by a proud and arrogant boast by known officials of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the social-cultural association of herdsmen, to the effect that Benue will know no peace. As a demonstration of the level of impunity and defiance, these attacks were executed even while the Minister of Interior was still visiting Benue.
“We are left with no option than to conclude that the President, who by the way, is the Grand patron of Miyetti Allah, has turned an open eye and is bent on keeping a deaf ear to these atrocities, or that he is actively involved in this diabolical and outrageous scheme. It is only against the background of this conjecture that one may appreciate the conduct of President Buhari and managers of security architecture of our country.
“Having failed in their constitutional responsibility of government to ensure our security and welfare, we have no option than to take our destiny into our hands. No longer shall we rely on an inept, deficient, compromised, and grossly ineffective security apparatus for our protection. We shall rise up in union and take our destiny in our hands. Enough is enough, he declared.”
Prof. Yima Sen on his assessement of the current situation of the affected communities ,said, “As at the time I left Benue there were killings going on, and there are just few policemen here and there. I am not satisfied with the situation out there, except something has changed in the past few hours.”
The conference was attended by the convener, Prof. Yina Sen, who arrived late, Chief Cliff Atile and members of the community Development Coalition (CDC) among others.