He Must Visit Af­fected Com­mu­ni­ties, Vic­tims’ Grave­side Ma­jor Road Re­pairs in Makurdi to Wel­come Pres­i­dent Some­body Must An­swer For Killings – Obasanjo

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Hope Abah, Makurdi

Benue State will use the op­por­tu­nity of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s visit to the state to­mor­row to re­quest that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­dou­bles ef­fort to end killings in parts of the com­mu­nity, the paramount ruler of the Tiv peo­ple, Tor Tiv, Prof James Ay­atse, and Benue el­ders said yes­ter­day.

Buhari is billed to visit the Benue on Mon­day in con­tin­u­a­tion of his tour of states rav­aged by in­se­cu­rity.

El­ders, opin­ion lead­ers and royal fa­thers from across the three sen­a­to­rial dis­tricts of the state who spoke to our cor­re­spon­dent in Makurdi yes­ter­day were unan­i­mous in their ex­pec­ta­tion that the pres­i­dent’s visit would mark the end of un­war­ranted killings in the state.

The Tor Tiv, Prof. Ay­atse, opined that the visit even though be­lated was a wel­comed devel­op­ment and would pro­vide the pres­i­dent the op­por­tu­nity to see for him­self the level of de­struc­tion his peo­ple and king­dom have suf­fered in the hands of sus­pected herders.

Ay­atse, who spoke through his Spe­cial As­sis­tant on Me­dia, Fred­die Adamgbe, said he had re­peat­edly called on the pres­i­dent to visit the state de­spite some rep­re­sen­ta­tives he had ear­lier sent in the wake of the New Year’s at­tack on vil­lages by sus­pected herders.

The royal father said he ex­pects that Buhari would visit the grave­yard of the 73 slain peo­ple on new year’s day dur­ing his visit, en­sure that the ar­rest of Myetti Al­lah Kau­tal Hore lead­er­ship who vowed to re­sist the anti-graz­ing law.

The monarch, who said he would be happy to re­ceive the pres­i­dent, also wants vic­tims of the dev­as­ta­tions to be com­pen­sated and more of fed­eral pres­ence in­sti­tuted in the state, among oth­ers.

Pres­i­dent Gen­eral of Md­zough u Tiv, a so­cio-cul­tural um­brella body of the Tiv peo­ple, Engr. Ed­ward Ujege, said the pres­i­dent, as the father of the na­tion, would be ex­pected to de­liver good­ness on his ar­rival by bring­ing peace and se­cu­rity to the state.

“We ex­pect that his com­ing would fi­nally put an end to un­nec­es­sary killings. We be­lieve that dur­ing the visit he would give di­rec­tives to his se­cu­rity chiefs who in­clude the Min­is­ter of De­fence and the In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice so that things would be bet­ter for us in Benue State,” Ujege said.

Speak­ing for the Idoma so­cio-cul­tural group, Opi­a­toha k’ Idoma, its Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Chief Adoka Adaji, harped on the need for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to re­build Agatu land which was de­stroyed dur­ing sev­eral in­va­sion by sus­pected herders.

Adoka said the Idoma peo­ple would tell the pres­i­dent dur­ing his visit to re­ha­bil­i­tate Agatu peo­ple, other parts of Idoma land as well as ar­eas in the state which were af­fected by herders/ farm­ers cri­sis.

“We will also let the pres­i­dent know that there is no go­ing back on our ranch­ing law. Cat­tle rear­ing is a busi­ness, so the Fu­lani peo­ple have to con­trol their cat­tle by obey­ing the state law on ranch­ing. The pres­i­dent should also come out clearly to con­demn the killings in Benue State. That is our ex­pec­ta­tion,” he said.

Also speak­ing, an ex-Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Abubakar Tsav, said that he ex­pects the com­ing of the pres­i­dent to mark an end of killings in the state and im­prove se­cu­rity of lives and prop­erty.

“Buhari should en­sure that the killings do not hap­pen again. I urge Benue peo­ple to speak with one voice, re­main united, be pa­tient and tol­er­ate each other as we look for­ward to the fu­ture and put the ugly past be­hind us,” he said.

On his part, the Pres­i­dent of Ominy’Igede, the high­est so­cio-cul­tural body of the Igede eth­nic group in the state, Chief Ode Enyi, said his peo­ple would ex­pect the pres­i­dent to di­rect all se­cu­rity agen­cies in the coun­try to en­force the anti-graz­ing law.

Gov­er­nor Sa­muel Or­tom, in a state­ment signed by his Spe­cial Ad­viser on Me­dia and ICT, Ta­hav Agerzua Ta­hav, said Pres­i­dent Buhari dur­ing his Mon­day visit, will pay a cour­tesy call on the Chair­man of the Benue State Coun­cil of Chiefs, Tor Tiv the fifth, Pro­fes­sor Ay­atse.

The pres­i­dent will hold a meeting with ma­jor stake­hold­ers at the Benue Peo­ples House and shall also visit one of the eight dis­placed per­sons’ camps in the state.

Our cor­re­spon­dent ob­served yes­ter­day that the por­tion of the road from Markurdi air­port to the Wu­rukum junc­tion round­about of the state cap­i­tal was be­ing worked on by the Fed­eral Road Main­te­nance Agency (FERMA) in prepa­ra­tion for the visit.

Some­body must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for Benue killings – Obasanjo

A for­mer pres­i­dent, Chief Oluse­gun Obasanjo, yes­ter­day em­pha­sised the need for lead­ers in the coun­try to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for killings in Benue State, in a bid to put an end to the un­jus­ti­fi­able loss of lives.

Obasanjo made the re­marks in re­sponse to ques­tions from news­men when he had a stopover in Makurdi, on his way back from Borno State, to lay wreath at the grave­side of 73 peo­ple who were killed on New Year’s day in two lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Logo and Guma.

“It is sad be­yond de­scrip­tion and that is why I have taken it upon my­self, hav­ing been to Maiduguri, where we had a meeting of zero hunger fo­rum, to be here to pay a con­do­lence visit and share in the sad­ness of Benue peo­ple.

“We must know why it (killings) is hap­pen­ing and why we must put an end to it, some­one must take re­spon­si­bil­ity to put an end to it. We can­not talk of a free, se­cure coun­try where we will want devel­op­ment to take place and in­vestors to come and be suf­fer­ing this type of sense­less­ness,” he said.


From left: Vice Pres­i­dent, Prof. Yemi Os­in­bajo; Groom’s father, Gov­er­nor Abi­ola Aji­mobi of Oyo State; and Wife of the Vice Pres­i­dent, Mrs. Do­lapo Os­in­bajo, at the re­cep­tion for the wed­ding of Gov Aji­mobi’s son to Gov. Ab­dul­lahi Gan­duje’s daugh­ter in Ibadan, Oyo State yes­ter­day Oyo Govt. House

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