Finally, President condemns “wicked” attacks by Fulani herdsmen in Benue
The president said security agencies have been directed to arrest those behind the regrettable incidents.
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the massacre of dozens of people in Tiv communities in Benue State that was allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen in attacks between Sunday, December 31, 2017, and Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
The herdsmen carried out the devastating attacks in Guma Local Government Area and Logo LGA of the state leaving at least 20 people dead, with other sources claiming about 50 died from the attacks.
In a press statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday, January 3, the president commiserated with the state governor, Samuel Ortom over the killings.
Describing the attacks as “wicked and callous”, the president assured the governor that relevant security agencies have been directed to do everything possible to arrest those behind the regrettable incidents that resulted in the deaths of “even innocent children”.
He said, “This is one attack too many, and everything must be done to provide security for the people in our rural communities.”
The president also commiserated with families of the victims and wished the injured speedy healing.
Police arrest eight suspects
Earlier on Wednesday, the Benue State Police Command announced that it had arrested eight suspects in connection to the attacks.
According to a statement released by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Yamu, in Makurdi on Wednesday, December 3, six of the suspects were arrested in Guma, while two were arrested in Logo.
ASP Yamu also gave details off of the locations of the attacks and revealed that security personnel have been deployed to prevent any further attacks.
President Buhari blamed for attacks
Many residents of Benue took to the streets of Makurdi on Wednesday to protest against the savage attacks and called on President Buhari to act on the terror of the herdsmen or resign from his position.
On Tuesday, Governor Ortom, who is from Guma LGA, had also blamed the Federal Government for the incident.
The governor said the attack was successful due to negligence from the Federal Government who failed to heed its warnings about the herdsmen.
He said the state had notified the Federal Government of the threat of the herdsmen after they vowed to resist the state’s anti-grazing bill which came into effect on November 1, 2017.
“You would recall that I made official reports to the federal government about the intended invasion of Benue State by these herdsmen who claimed that they would resist the (Anti-Grazing) law. I have never seen where people would come out with this level of impunity.
“This is unfortunate; we are living in a country that is presumed to be our own. Security agencies in this country had been aware of the impending attacks and what you are seeing here is just a tip of the iceberg.
“The federal government and President Muhammadu Buhari must rise and give us protection to show that we are truly citizens of this country.
“Though we will continue to urge our people to be law abiding, there is a limit to what we can bear. This is not fair, it is not right and certainly unacceptable,” he said.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, also criticised President Buhari’s silence over the numerous attacks allegedly carried out by herdsmen in the country over the past few years.