Group Seeks End To Bloodletting In Nigeria

A group, Progressive Solidarity Forum (PSF), has condemned the spate of killings that greeted the New Year in Benue and Rivers states.

In a statement signed by the group’s director of publicity, Mrs Rekiya Onaivo Sanni, she described the killings as “shocking, grotesque, and unbelievable.”

“Our attention has been drawn to the unfortunate and needless killings that took place a few days ago in Rivers and Benue. We are deeply disturbed, like most well-meaning Nigerians about the growing murderous elements amongst us. These elements must identify and flushed out from our midst for disturbing our peace in this country.

“We are aware that some arrests have been made in connection with the killings. We applaud this bold move. We also want the government to demonstrate the political will to bring those arrested to justice.

“The news of the President’s directive for the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue came to us as a big relief. We want all the security agencies to up their games to make sure these recent needless killings are the very last of such in Nigeria.

“We are also excited with the effort of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in the raiding of the Don Waney enclave in Rivers state. We welcome such bravery and encourage the soldiers to continue to display a high degree of professionalism in the course of their duties.” the statement read.

She further urged the government not to relent on her effort to root out terrorists, criminals and other murderous groups in Nigeria.



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Benue Killings: Ekweremadu Advocates For State Police

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said that the decentralising of police would enable  federating unit to effectively protect lives and property of its citizens and residents.

Ekweremadu stated this while expressing his condolences to the people and government of Benue State over the killings of over 80 persons.

In a statement issued on occasion of the mass burial of the victims, he described the murders as a preventable loss of lives, and reiterated his call for decentralised policing.

“This is a black Thursday, not only for the people of Benue State, but also for the entire nation. My heartfelt condolences go to the government and people of Benue State as the victims of the suspected herdsmen attacks are committed to mother earth.

“While I join fellow Nigerians to pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of the victims and for fortitude to those who lost their loved ones, let me reiterate that we must avert such future occurrences by urgently rethinking our security system,” Ekweremadu said.

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Factsheet: Federal Response To The Attacks And Killings By Herdsmen In Benue And Other States


Insinuations and allegations that the attacks and killings are happening because President Buhari is Fulani are both unkind and incorrect. These attacks long predated the Buhari Government. In 2013 no fewer than nine cases of herdsmen attacks were recorded in Benue State alone, with more than 190 people killed. In 2014 there were no fewer than 16 recorded attacks, in Benue, which claimed more than 230 victims. Between January and May 2015, six attacks left more than 300 people dead, again in Benue State alone: See here and here for examples.

This historical context is important for a proper understanding of the issue, and to avoid unnecessarily politicizing what should be regarded and dealt with as acts of criminality. These attacks have been a longstanding issue, and successive governments have struggled to contain the situation.

The Buhari Administration is more than fully committed to bringing the cycle of violence to an end, prosecuting the attackers, and preventing further killings and attacks. The security agencies have standing instructions to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms.

Federal Interventions

The recent killings in Benue and Taraba States have elicited the following Federal responses:

1. President Buhari has met with the Governor of Benue State on the matter, to assure him of the Federal Government’s commitment to protecting farmers and communities.

2. President Buhari has directed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State.

3. On Monday January 8, 2018, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, convened a security meeting on the issue, bringing together Federal and State government officials: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Heads of security agencies, and the Governors of the most affected States: Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Taraba.

4. On Wednesday January 10, 2018, the IG held a Stakeholders engagement with the Benue State Government, elders, community, religious and traditional leaders etc

5. Since the first week of January, immediately following the January 1 attacks, the Inspector General of Police has deployed the following to the affected areas:

· Ten (10) Units of PMF
· Police Special Forces
· Counter Terrorism Units
· Conventional Policemen.
· Police Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD)
· Special Police Joint Intelligence and Investigation Teams
· Police Aerial Surveillance Teams (Police Helicopters)

6. The Nigerian Army has deployed Special Forces to Benue, Taraba, and Nasarawa States.

7. In Benue State, eight (8) suspected herdsmen are in Police custody over the recent killings, and are currently being prosecuted.

8. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working to establish cattle colonies across the country, in 2018. These colonies will provide grass and water for the cattle, and education and healthcare facilities for herders. They will also have Agro-Rangers deployed to secure the facilities.

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Benue Killings: Indigenes Resolve To Self-Defence

Indigenes of Benue state have resolved to defend themselves following what they say is the failure of the Nigerian government to protect their communities from invasion, attacks and killings by armed Fulani herdsmen.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the nation’s capital they described the violence and killings as nothing short of ethnic cleansing.

The Benue indigenes say attacks and killings in farming communities in their homes by armed Fulani herdsmen started on July 7, 2015 and for three years the bloodshed, maiming and destruction of property has not been brought to an end.

The Abuja-based advocacy group, community development coalition says for peace to be restored in Benue state, there should be a full implementation of the anti-open grazing law as well as heightened security presence.

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Benue Killings: IGP Idris Apologises For Comment

The Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday apologized to people of Benue State over his statement that the Fulani herdsmen attacks on people of the state were communal clashes.

He gave the apology while addressing Benue stakeholders at the Government House in Makurdi.

He said 10 mobile police units have been stationed in Benue and promised to bring to book those that had unleashed terror on the state to serve as deterrent to others.

He assured the state governor, Samuel Ortom, that his men would investigate all allegations raised against Miyetti Allah Katal Houre and that of Nassarawa where some militia men are being camped to carry out attack on Benue people.

Governor Ortom maintained that some militia men are still camped in Tungwa, Awe local government area of Nasarawa State and urged the IGP to investigate the matter.

The governor donated five Hilux vehicles for the operation against the herdsmen.

The Nation

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Benue Govt Denies Training Militia Group

The Benue State Government has denied arming militia groups to defend the people against marauding herdsmen in the state.

Terver Akase, media aide to the state governor, Samuel Ortom, said the government has never recruited armed militias since inception.

“We read a news report insinuating that some youth arrested by the military at Arufu, a town between Benue and Taraba States are armed militia sponsored by the Benue State Government to defend the territory of the State against invaders.

“We wish to state categorically that the Benue State Government under Governor Samuel Ortom has not recruited any militia group and armed them since the Governor assumed office.

“Governor Ortom is widely recognised for his disarmament policy which brought the amnesty programme leading to the recovery of about 700 arms and ammunition with over 800 youth laying down their weapons to embrace the programme across the State.

“It is also on record that the present administration inherited the State Civilian Joint Task Force from the previous government but later proscribed it.

“Following the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law in Benue State last year, the Government set up Livestock Guards to help in implementation of the law. The Livestock Guards are not armed personnel. Their job is to ensure compliance with the regulation of ranches establishment and prohibition of open grazing of animals in the State.

“The Benue State Government believes in the use of conventional security agencies to protect the people. Even in the face of renewed killing of innocent people by herdsmen in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas, Governor Ortom did not let the people resort to self help. The Governor acted swiftly to get the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the deployment of more troops to troubled parts of the State.

“We reassure the people of Benue State and other Nigerians that the Government is committed to bringing the killings in the State to an end andrestoring peace to the affected areas.”

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Buhari Orders IGP Idris To Relocate To Benue

Following the killings of innocent people by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas in Benue State, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate relocation of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to the state.

The order, which was issued on Monday night, was to forestall future breakdown of law and order in the state.

In compliance with the order, Idris is moving into the troubled state with additional five units of Police Mobile Force (PMF).

On Sunday, the police chief deployed, among other security measures, five MOPOL units. There are now ten of them in the crisis areas.

More Units of the Police Special Forces, Counter Terrorism Units, and Conventional Policemen were also deployed to the State on Monday.

“The Aerial Surveillance by Police Helicopters will continue, while the Police Mobile Force Personnel, Police Special Forces and conventional Police Personnel, the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Police Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) and Special Police Joint Intelligence and Investigation Teams already deployed to Benue State will carry on relentlessly with the patrols and crime prevention activities in the affected areas to sustain the normalcy that have been restored in the State”, police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said.

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Benue Killings: Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Attacks Suswam’s Town, Kills Three

Suspected Fulani Herdsmen on Wednesday night, reportedly launched an attack on Anyiin, the country home of the ex-Governor Gabriel Suswam, and killed three people.

The suspected herdsmen also ransacked three roadside kiosks and made away with over one hundred mobile phones, destroyed assorted drinks and other valuables.

According to a community leader in Anyiin Chief Tardoo Ugo, he disclosed that they heard sporadic shootings which began at 9:00 PM on Wednesday night and lasted until Thursday morning, leaving blood and tears.

The names of those killed are  Mr Tatyough Uombor from Turan Mr Gbenger Orakundu of Mbazar, Tombo ward, and Mr Angar Ude Jugu also from Mbazar, Tombo ward all in Logo local government area in Benue state.


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Benue killings: FG To Deploy Security Operatives, Says Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has assured residents of the state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to deploy security operatives to end the serial killings in some communities in the state.

Ortom said this while addressing journalists in Makurdi, on Wednesday, in the wake of protests by angry youths in the state.

Recall that dozens of farmers have been killed, allegedly by herdsmen, in some communities in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state, forcing many to flee their homes.

Leader of the protesters, Orngu Angu had insisted that the protests would continue except President Muhammadu Buhari sets up a Military Task Force within twenty four hours to guarantee the safety of lives and property of the people from activities of the herdsmen.

Governor Ortom, had meanwhile, urged the people of the state to remain calm in the face of what he described as an obvious provocation, even as he called for the arrest of some of their leaders.

The Governor called for the arrest of the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, who he said, threatened to invade the state, last year, as those responsible for the current killings in the state.

He insisted that they be arrested for making inciting statements concerning the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law and for allegedly carrying out their threats.

However, he explained that actions carried out in anger against the killings were bound to complicate the situation and cautioned the people to “avoid taking the law into their own hands as two wrongs cannot make a right”.

Governor Ortom said he appreciated the pains which the people of the state were passing through, especially families of the victims, pointing out that he had informed the President about the development and was awaiting for a positive response.

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Protesters Shut Down Makurdi Over Herdsmen’s Attacks On Benue Communities

Following the alleged attack on some communities in Benue State by Fulani herdsmen, residents have trooped out to protest the incessant killings ravaging the state.

Recall that the herdsmen allegedly launched an attack on Tomatar village in Sengev Council ward, Akor village in Nzorov council ward, and Bakin Kwata village in Umenger council ward of Guma Local government area of the state.

Protesters, who took to the popular Makurdi-Enugu expressway demanded an end to the killings, even as men of the Police and Nigerian Army were deployed to forestall breakdown of law and order.

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Benue Police Command Arrest 8 Fulani Herdsmen Over Attacks On Tomatar Village

The Benue State Police Command has said it has arrested eight herdsmen over attacks on Tomatar village in Sengev Council ward, Akor village in Nzorov council ward, and Bakin Kwata village in Umenger council ward of Guma Local government area.

Benue Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Moses Yamu, in a statement, disclosed that six of the herdsmen were arrested in Guma Local Government Area while two others were arrested in Logo  Local Government Area of the state.

Yamu said a total of 17 persons, including seven members of Benue State Livestock Guards were killed, their vehicles burnt and an uncertain number of persons injured in separate attacks between 31/12/2017 and 02/01/2018 while revealing further that more villages were being attacked by the invaders.

“Again, Agba-Uko near Azege village and Tse-Aga village of Logo Local government area experienced the same fate where one person was killed, one motorcycle burnt and four persons injured. All the injured from both local government areas are currently undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the State.”

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Suspected Herdsmen Kill Two In Benue Community

Suspected herdsmen on Sunday killed two persons and wounded two others in Odonto, a village in Akpa district of Otukpo local council of Benue state.

Police spokespersons in Benue State, Moses Yamu, stated that the local police in the area gathered that some youths from the neighbouring town of Utonkon, allegedly aided and guided the herdsmen in the Sunday morning attack.

Since the open grazing prohibition law was effected on November 1st, 2017, violent agitations by herdsmen across the state, have led to the killing of over seven indigenes who tried to ward off herdsmen from their farm in the ongoing harvest season.

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