Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A group known as the Sankera Youths Vanguard has advised the Benue State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) to stop playing politics with the security situation in the area stressing that the people have suffered enough in the hands of armed Fulani herdsmen.
The group equally advised the Benue State Chapter of the APC to change its campaign strategy and “stop dancing on the graves of the people of Shitile and Ukum in Sankera axis of the state”.
The youths, while making its position known, on Wednesday, during a world press conference held in Makurdi stated that the event of Sunday November 12, 2018 at St. Dominic Quasi Parish, Gbishe in Mbayongo clan of Shitile Katsina-Ala Local Government Area was a thanksgiving service organised by an APC House of Assembly candidate for Katsina-Ala East constituency with other members in the area.
President of the group, Prince Tyodoo Livinus, wondered how the event could metamorphose to a peace meeting to mediate between Ukum and Shitile.
The youths said that the thanksgiving service did not, in any way have a correlation with the peaceful co-existence of Sankera, neither did it have any bearing on the crisis resolution in the area.
Livinus added that the misunderstanding between youths of the two communities had been nipped in the bud following the peace initiatives by the Benue State Government in collaboration with prominent sons of the area led by a former Governor of the state, Dr. Gabriel Suswam.
The group described Governor Samuel Ortom as a ‘peace-loving’ man, who is in a bid to end the disagreement between Shitile and Ukum youths, engaged traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders in Sankera axis after some youths from the area opted out of the Governor’s amnesty programme which was initiated at the inception of his administration.
On the chieftaincy title of ‘Nyamkyume I Tiv’ purportedly bestowed on the leader of the Benue APC, Senator George Akume at the event, the group said it is absurd for Sen. Akume to accept a title given to him without taking into cognizance the laid down procedures established by the Tiv traditional council.
The group advised the leadership of the APC to desist from “desecrating and insulting the person, office and stool of the Tor Sankera, Sankera traditional council and the entire Tiv traditional council”.
On the claims by the APC that it is mediating in the misunderstanding between Shitile and Ukum youths, the group wondered how a party that cannot resolve its internal crisis of the deputy governorship candidate will mediate between two communities.
“It beats our imagination that a party that cannot resolve its internal crisis to be able to produce a running mate for their gubernatorial candidate is boasting of mediating between two communities to resolve their crisis”, the group said.
The group, therefore, called on the leadership of the Benue APC to desist from unwholesome activities on the security situation in the area (Sankera), and urged the party to rather prevail on President Mohammadu Buhari to direct relevant security agencies to arrest the leadership of Miyetti Allah who have claimed responsibility for the killing of innocent Benue people including priests and worshipers.