From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Over 2000 men, women and children have been allegedly killed with 40 major and deadly attacks reportedly carried out by herdsmen in 14 of the 23 local government areas of Benue State between 2013 and 2016.
The three principal Socio-cultural groups in the state, Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede made the claim, in Friday, while briefing newsmen, in Makurdi, in their reaction to a recent press conference held by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH) in Abuja denouncing the Benue Anti-Open Grazing law.
Speaking on behalf of the the groups, President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, lamented that over 9,000 households were affected by the various attacks carried out by herdsmen while property worth N95 billion were destroyed in 2014 alone.
The group further claimed that till date, over 500 persons were still missing while over half a million people were displaced by the incessant herdsmen attacks on the state between 2013 and 2016.
“The anti open grazing law is the outcome of the yearnings of the people of the state who desire peace and want lasting solutions to the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes which had often led to the pillage of our communities, the massacre of our men, women and children as well as destruction of our farms, homes, taping of our women and children and excessive unrest.”
The three principal Socio-cultural groups while positing that the masterminds of the law were people of the state and not the government, politicians nor legions leaders as being portrayed by MAKH in their press conference maintained that the struggle is for the emancipation of the Benue people from their slave drivers and preservation of lives and property of the people.
“The anti open grazing law will not die because it provides the panacea for our peoples survival and for peace. The people of the state are prepared and determined to ensure its success despite the ill will of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and its insidious attempt to truncate it,” Ujege said.