Agatu Killings: Benue Threatens Reprisal, Urges FG’s Intervention

Members of the Benue State Caucus of the House of Representatives on Friday asked the Federal Government to stop what they described as “senseless killings” by herdsmen in Benue State, particularly the ongoing attacks in Agatu Local Government Area where over 500 lives have been lost.

Describing the killings as “genocide” and taking a pattern similar to that of the Boko Haram insurgents, the lawmakers warned that should President Muhammadu Buhari fail to act fast, the people of Benue State would retaliate.

The Chairman, House Committee on Rules/Business, Mr. Orker Jev, who read the caucus’s position at a news conference held at the National Assembly in Abuja, said, “We condemn the belated reaction of Buhari and his Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abulrahman Danbazzau (retd), who broke their unholy silence a week after over 500 people were killed and 10 villages razed in Agatu area of the state.

“It is curious that till today, the investigative panel purportedly instituted by the Federal Government to probe the attacks has not been made public or inaugurated. Who are the members of the committee?

“Jev recalled that many parts of the state had been under sustained attacks by herdsmen since 2013.

Besides Agatu, the caucus said Buruku, Otukpo, Guma, Gwer-West/East, Logo, Kwande, Tarka, Makurdi and Katsina-Ala had been attacked in the past, “resulting in the death of thousands of Benue people.”

The caucus noted that the “unsympathetic statement” of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, that the number of the casualties in Agatu was blown out of proportion, “encouraged the herdsmen to intensify their killing bazaar in the state.”

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, denied that communal clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers was a genocide.

According to him, the crisis has been in existence before he was elected governor.

Al-Makura spoke at Udeni-Magaji when he went to the community to inspect the level of destruction done to the area during the Fulani herdsmen/farmers violence.

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