Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Leaders of the three major ethnic nationalities in Benue, Mzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi’Nyigede have lambasted the Coalition of Norther Groups for calling for a state of emergency in Benue and other states over insecurity.
The leaders of the various ethnic lobbies led by the President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, described the call for a state of emergency in some states as an illegality which is not supported by the the Nigerian constitution.
While observing that Benue as a northern state was not part of the coalition, Ujege maintained that the said group was tribalistic and vowed that Benue people will protect their Anti-Open Grazing Law no matter the level intimidation or name-calling.
He suggested that if state Governor Samuel Ortom decides not to go ahead with the implementation of the law the people of Benue will continue with it because the law was passed based on popular will.
The Mzough U Tiv leader also raised alarm over the systematic killings of Tiv Farmers, especially those who are indigenes of Nasarawa, stressing that the continuous attacks had caused them to desert their homes and are now taking refuge in displaced persons camps.
He however commended security agencies in the state, especially the Police Command and Commissioner of Commissioner Fatai Owoseni for their proactiveness in ensuring peace, law and order in the state in the face of opposition and grave confrontations by the armed attackers, which had led to the death of some security personnel.
On his part, President, Om’ny Igede, Chief Odeh Enyi, described the said Coalition of Northern Group as lawless, comparing it to the cattle herder collective Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH).
“How can a group just wake up and say it condemned the creation of state police which will stand for it in times of insecurity, in the face of inadequate Federal Government’s police personnel? We in Benue support the creation of state police, especially now that the Federal Government’s police have taken sides,” he said.