Protesters in Benue state have described president Buhari as a failure for refusing to take drastic steps to address the issue of Fulani herdsmen killings in the state.
“You have failed in upholding the Nigerian constitution and providing security for Nigerian lives and properties”, said the convener of the peaceful protest, Mr Orgu Arngu while crying on camera.
No fewer than 50 persons were killed in fresh attacks on Benue communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen after they invaded parts of the Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state on New Year’s Day.
The attacks, which spilt over to Tuesday, came on the heels of the implementation of the anti-open grazing law, which the Fulani herdsmen considered detrimental to their means of livelihood.
Benue elders on Thursday declared that the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen in the state were a “planned genocide” aimed at decimating the state.
They made the declaration while calling the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government to “stand up against the planned genocide in Benue State.”
Mondy attacks affected two communities in Guma and three communities in the Logo LGAs.
The affected communities are Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo and Turan all in Logo LGA as well as Umenger, Tse-Akor and Tomatar near Tse-Abi in Nongov District of Guma LGA.
The invading herdsmen were said to have attacked Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo and Turan villages in Logo LGA on New Year’s Day at the time the people were returning from the New Year’s service.
The assailants were said to have descended on the communities around 9 pm on Monday and continued the attack till around 4 am on Tuesday, shooting indiscriminately and burning down houses and huts.
A source, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said, “There were coordinated attacks on five communities by the well-armed herdsmen who stormed our villages in large number, around 10 pm to 4 am.
They would enter any particular compound, and knock at the door. Once you open your door, they will capture you and slaughter you.
“As I speak with you, the affected villages have been deserted and the invaders have taken over and are razing the ancestral homes of the people who have fled from the areas to other towns in their thousands, for fear of being killed.
Meanwhile, president Muhammadu Buhari commiserated with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over the killings, injury of several persons and wanton destruction of property in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state.
President Buhari, who expressed sadness at the “wicked and callous” attacks on innocent children, assured the governor and people of the state that relevant security agencies had been directed to do everything possible to arrest those behind the regrettable incidents and avert further attacks.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari said: “This is one attack too many and everything must be done to provide security for the people in our rural communities.”
He also commiserated with families of the victims and wished the injured speedy recovery.