by Peter Duru
MAKURDI—A joint meeting of all Benue socio-cultural groups and religious leaders has flayed President Muhammadu Buhari, Army, Police chiefs, and the state governor for failing to visit Agatu and other besieged Benue communities after the mass attacks and killings in the communities by suspected Fulani militia.
They contended that the action smacked of insensitivity and care free attitude on the part of the leaders to the plight of the people of the state.
A communique issued in Makurdi at the end of a combined meeting of the Mdzough U Tiv, the Idoma National Forum and the Omi Ny’Igede, on the killings and wanton destruction of property of Benue indigenes by Fulani herdsmen, they expressed worry at the delay in setting up of the Presidential Investigative Panel as promised by President Buhari.
Among others, the meeting had in attendance, the Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Williams Avenya that of Katsina-Ala Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Adobo.
Part of the communique read, “the inability of the President, the nation’s Army and Police Chiefs, and the Governor of Benue State to visit the worst affected communities of Agatu and other areas where recent mass murder attacks were carried out for on the spot assessment of the level of devastation indicates lack of seriousness deserving of the crisis. The delay in setting up the Presidential Investigation Panel promised by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is also becoming worrisome.
“The proposed Town Hall Meeting by the Federal Government is not only diversionary, but a deliberate ploy to downplay the degree of attention and seriousness that should be accorded the invasion of our land.
“We reject the Federal Government’s proposal at this time, but insist on Judicial Commission of Enquiry to unravel the root cause(s) of the massacre of our people. We advise that all relevant government agencies saddled with the responsibilities of home land security begin the process of disarming Fulani herdsmen across the country to avoid a counter arms buildup by helpless communities in self defence.”