Stakeholders in Benue State have appealed to Operation Whirl Stroke to intensify surveillance, particularly at the entry points usually used by Herdsmen into the State to avert the lost of more lives during the 2021 harvest.
The Stakeholders comprising Mdzough U Tiv Ochitoha’k’Idoma and Omini’Igede as well as the Fourteen Local Governmemt Chairmen whose Council’s were grossly affected by the attacks during a press conference disclosed that from 2018 to date over 1773 Farmers and Children were killed by the marauding Herdsmen.
The Stakeholders also lamented that continued stay of over 1.5 million farmers in IDP camps is causing hunger and poverty in the land while the future of the children in the camps remained bleak as they are currently out of school.
“The continuous stay of farmers in the IDP Camps across the State is causing untold hardship to our people, so we are appealing to the FG to redeem its earlier Promise of rehabilitating, reconstruction and resettling of IDPs back to their ancestral homes to enable them start new life”
The Stakeholders also lamented on another trend recently introduced by the armed herdsmen to attack farnes which is to go to the crossing points at the River Benue and other waterways within the state and force the boatmen to ferry them to their targeted areas and any resistance, the boatmen will met their instant death.
According to them, “Twenty-one out of the twenty-three local government areas have in the State have suffered one form of attacks or the other by the marauding Herdsmen, we are deeply saddened over the incessant and senseless killing of Benue people In the last Six years”
“We wish to alert the security agencies and the Federal Government that with the approach of the dry season, the seasonal movement of armed Herdsmen into Benue State in search of grazing lands and water points is a recipe for heightened attacks on farmers who are harvesting their crops”
“We therefore request the deployment of special forces to entry points into Benue State that are usually used by these merchants of death who are bent on eliminating our people and taking over their ancestral lands with their genocidal attacks”