From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Council boss of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State, Hon. (Mrs.) Justina Sorkaa has recounted the gory sights she saw during the herders/farmers crises which claimed many lives in her domain between 2015 and 2017.
Sorkaa, who disclosed this during a field visit of the Country Representative, UNICEF-Nigeria, Mohammed Malick Fall, and his entourage to Buruku Local Government Area said her people were killed mercilessly by the invading herders.
Her words, “I watched human beings butchered like fish. This happened in 2015 to 2017. We also noticed that guns were not used by the invaders but matchetes with which they removed the eyes, slashed the tongues and throats of their victims. As a female council boss, the psychological effects of the gory sights I saw are still there till now.”
She commended UNICEF and other United Nations (UN) agencies for their commitment at ensuring that they brought succour to the suffering population especially women and children even as she called of them to
support the state government by coming to the aid of the council and other councils affected by the Fulani crises.
“Since UNICEF has passion for human lives especially those of women and children, the lives that were lost have left behind orphans and widows and as a small council, it has become difficult to manage these challenge.
“The state has tried but has challenges too. That is why we are requesting that UNICEF should kindly support the state government and all local government areas that were affected in the state. UNICEF should please come to the aid of the council and the state.”
On his part, UNICEF’s Country Representative, Fall who noted that they were in Buruku for a first hand information mission to assess the effect the crises had on the population, described the crises as devastating just as he promised that UNICEF and the humanitarian community in the country would assist in whatever way possible.
“The conflict as explained by the council boss is very devastating. This call has to be made. The conflict between herders and farmers will continue as a result of climate change which is making grazing farming becoming very challenging.
“This is really a call that needs to be taken and that means we have to invest a lot in the system through education. UNICEF will lend its voice to this campaign because if nothing is done, this conflicts might have a spill over effect beyond just Nigeria.
“That is why we need the effort of all international agencies. There is need for the UN to pay serious attention to these crises. The entire humanitarian community in Nigeria is concerned about these crises. We are here for a first hand information mission to assess the effect the crises have on the population,” said Fall.
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