The convoy of Governor Gabriel Suswam of the central Nigerian state of Benue convoy was attacked on Tuesday by suspected herdsmen. The governor was on his way to Guma Local Government Area of the state. According to The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Suswam was visiting the council on a fact finding mission following the continuous invasion of the area by hoodlums. The governor’s convoy was also attacked by the hoodlums at Tse-Akenyi and this led to an exchange of gun shots between Suswam’s security guards and the herdsmen. Suswam, who visited the people at Gbajimba, the council headquarters, to sympathise with them, said that the situation was disturbing. He added that people must defend themselves if the security operatives failed to do their job.
I salute each and every one of you for your courage and steadfastness throughout this period. This is beyond the herdsmen, this is real war. On my way to this place, they exchanged gun shots with us for over one hour before we were able to come here. My people are being killed, butchered and their homes destroyed. So, if the security agents, especially the military, cannot provide security for us we will defend ourselves. I cannot abandon you people at this point in time to die. You voted me to provide security for you and that I must do that for you.
“These Fulani are not like the real Fulanis we used to know. Please return to your homes and defend your land, do not allow anybody to make you slaves in your home land,’’ he said. The council Chairman, Mr Frank Adi, condemned the continuous killings of his people and destruction of their homes by the herdsmen. Adi, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Godwin Viashima, appealed to the government to provide them with security operatives for the purpose of safe guarding the citizens.
In a related development Senator Barnabas Gemade, has appealed to the government to raise a defence force to comb the affected areas in Benue to get rid of those causing the crises in the state. Gemade made the appeal in Abuja when he spoke to newsmen on the constant attacks on the Tiv/Idomas by people who, he said, have been hiding under the guise of Fulani herdsmen. The senator alleged that most of the attackers were not herdsmen but miscreants that had the motive of causing internal crisis in the country especially in the Middle Belt region.
“I think they really want to see some war fought in the middle belt part of the country which is a very big shame. Otherwise, how can you see an insurgence taking place in the middle of the country and the people who are doing this are coming from neighbouring countries such as Chad, Mali, Cameroon, Congo and many others. How did they pass through all the land that they passed through before getting to Benue which is right in the middle of the country?” He said it was a matter that the security agencies needed to look into very critically.
According to him, the development is very worrisome and requires the immediate attention of the federal government to investigate and bring those behind the killings to book.
“It is a matter that needs very urgent action by a combination of all the security agencies in this country to fish out the people behind this,” he said. Gemade said that it was not only in Benue that there was fertile land as there are many other tribes living in the Benue region where the land is very fertile and full of grass for animals.
“This tells you clearly that there is a motive behind it and this motive is not just addressed to the people living on fertile land but against a system. That system is against the peaceful existence of Nigeria and the peaceful performance of the government of the nation at this time.”Via pmnewsnigeria.com