By Kate Obande-Okewu/ Jessica Dogo
Abuja – Benue Group, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to stop the killing of innocent citizens by Fulani Herdsmen, saying that they were tired of the siege on Benue state.
The group, which is made up of the entire tribes in Benue namely: Tiv, Idoma, Egede, Agatu and others, made the call during a peaceful protest to the National Assembly in Abuja.
Mr Daniel Ekah, who spoke on behalf of the group, said that the protest was to enable them present their case to the national assembly and to call for urgent action against the herdsmen.
According to Ekah, the people of Benue have cried out before due to previous killings but nothing was done by the government.
“We are tired of the siege in Benue, we want the Federal Government to take action immediately and restore peace to the state.
“Monopoly of violence is not on one side, we want peace!
“We have cried out before but there was no answer, now it has escalated from war to genocide.
“The aim of the Fulani herdsmen is to annihilate us from Benue and take over our land and we don’t want that to happen and we know that it is the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders people that are against us.’’
Addressing the aggrieved group on behalf of the National Assembly, Mr Mark Terseer Gbillah, Deputy Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources, assured them that actions were being taken to address the issue.
Gbillah, who is representing Gwer-East/Gwer–West Federal Constituency, Benue, said that a committee has been set up to carry out a two day hearing on the issue.
“This issue touches our heart greatly and a committee has been set up, that will carry out a two day hearing on the problem.
“We will invite all development partners to look at the reconstruction of those communities affected to see how they can continue with their lives.
“The senate has given the Inspector General of Police 14 day ultimatum to produce the culprits in the attack.
“We will explore every angle and do everything possible that will make this issue come to an end, it is a critical issue to us,’’ Gbillah said.
He appealed to the indigenes to be law abiding as the government ensures that peace is restored.
Mr Chukwuka Onyeama, Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representative, also assured them that the killing would definitely come to an end.
He pleaded with the group to calm down and continue to pray for peace in the state adding that they have the right to be angry but they should not take their anger to the extreme.