Benue Govt Denies Recruiting Militia Members Arrested By Army With Arms

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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.

We are not responsible for the attacks."Priest administers burial rites at the mass burialThe conflict between the Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims and the farmers, who are predominantly Christians, dates back to 2013, according to local media reports".

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

The CSGPS president, while condemning the killings of scores of people in Benue, blamed the escalation of the crisis on the Civilian Joint Task Force set up after the passage of the Anti- Open Grazing Bill into Law, describing sponsorship of state militias by governors as unconstitutional.

He said that his comments were not made to undermine the pains of the people, rather help engender the sense of unity among Nigerians, inspite of the nationwide insecurity. We are 100 per cent in support of what Governor Samuel Ortom has done.

He, therefore, charged the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and stop state sponsorship of militias from festering as the outcome of it would fall on its head, and consequently called on it to deploy the military to the two states to suppress activities of militias. 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.

"Some of us, in 1966, fought the Nigerian civil war; Benue has contributed to the unity of this country".

Plateau state governor, Samson Lalong had faulted the anti-grazing law, saying he warned Ortom against it. "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.

Udende noted that the recent violence against the people was a clear manifestation of the earlier threat by the body to mobilize against the implementation of the law in the state.

Salawu alleged that the youth that Benue Taraba State governor, Mr Smuel Ortom, misled with the uniform of Livestock Guards, after signing the law, brazenly went on an extortion spree against herders while not a few of them appropriated the said law to engage in cattle rustling. They further revealed that they were trained by ex-service men and they were brought together from all the localities in Benue State. We pray for the repose if the innocent souls.

He said the suggestions were not acceptable to the Benue people.