Benue Govt Denies Recruiting Militia Members Arrested By Army With Arms

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A total of 72 persons hacked by the Fulani herdsmen were buried on Thursday by the Benue State government.

The majority of the thousands of mourners who trooped into the IBB Square, Makurdi for the memorial service and the subsequent burial at the Mobile Barracks, in black attires, cursed and wept uncontrollably.

The Leadership newspaper said the Federal Government has given explanations for the establishment of cattle colonies as against the nomadic structure now going on.

"We have no other option than to indict the governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, for spending more energy in stoking the fires of division as opposed to delivering the dividends of democracy to those that elected him", he added.

Williams Avenya, Catholic bishop of Gboko diocese, says the people of Benue state gave massive support to President Muhammadu Buhari but "received 73 corpses in return".

He said, "I am telling Nigerians that my people can not continue to be cannon fodder for this country".

He assured the state governor, Samuel Ortom and other stakeholders that all those involved in the killing of over 70 residents of the state, will be brought to justice.

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Further demanding for the arrest of the leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Houre, Unongo added, "If the Federal Government can not stop or arrest those behind the killings; in two weeks, we shall raise an army of our own. We can not allow people to colonise us again, we have all it takes to do that", Unongo said.

"The declaration of a State of Emergency in Taraba State will allow for full-scale investigation and also stop the militias armed by the governor from further harming any ethnic group to cause an unnecessary crisis in the polity for political reasons". Gen. Lawrence Onoja (retd.), said he will throw his weight behind the "Tiv-Army" if the Federal Government fails in its part to protect the Benue people.

The Benue-born general said, "Some of us, in 1966, fought the Nigerian civil war; Benue has contributed to the unity of this country. If the Federal Governmrnt refuses to address the killings in Benue and if we decide to raise our army as advocated by our elders to defend ourselves, l will not mind to command that army despite my age", he said.

At a press conference in Abuja yesterday‎, the MBCG, through its Convener, Prince Raymond Enero, and Deputy Convener, Dr. Paul Itodo, sympathised with the people of Benue state over the killings. We pray for the repose if the innocent souls.

A former governor of Benue State, George Akume, urged Buhari to declare a faction of the Miyietti Allah as terrorists, saying the action of its members showed they were terrorists.

He said, "We will not modify the anti open grazing law as demanded by Miyetti Allah as condition for peace to reign".

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