Nigerians React As Benue Govt Buries Attack Victims

STEFAN HEUNIS  AFP  Getty Images

STEFAN HEUNIS AFP Getty Images

Unongo recalled that a large number of Benue sons and daughters were among the contingents that fought the Nigerian civil war.

The IGP's apology follows the demand for an unreserved apology by the leader of grieving Benue mothers, Rebecca Apezan at the stakeholders meeting convened by the Mr Ibrahim to help tackle the lingering herdsmen attacks on Benue communities.

"We wish to state categorically that the Benue State Government under Governor Samuel Ortom has not recruited any militia group and armed them since the Governor assumed office", the state insisted.

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The state governor Samuel Ortom, who had declared three days of mourning for the victims, also lamented that the state was looking forward to a better year of hope after the herdsmen invaded and murdered in cold blood pregnant women, children and the elderly.

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Peace and Security (CCGP) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Benue state as well as in Taraba State due to the renewed hostilities in Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State. "We can not allow people to colonise us again, we have all it takes to do that", Unongo said.

Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Lagos, National President of the coalition, Otunba Kola Salawu also urged the Federal Government to set up judicial commissions of enquiry to probe the involvement of the state governors in the farmers, herders' crises. Gen. Lawrence Onoja (retd.), who described the killings in the state as genocidal conspiracy against the Benue people, emphasised that the killings must not continue. But we refuse to die.

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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.

During the event of the mass burial, the governors of two neighbouring states - Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Simon Lalong (Plateau) - held divergent views on the propriety of the Anti-Open Grazing Law enacted in Benue and Taraba States.

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