Benue State government has raised an alarm over a fresh plot by armed hired mercenaries to gruesomely attack five major communities in the state.
Acting Governor of the state, Engr. Benson Abounu who disclosed this said security reports made available to him, had indicated that large numbers of hired armed mercenaries have already occupied Benue Valley planning to launch the attack.
Governor Samuel Ortom is currently in China for his annual leave which is expected to end next week on Friday, April 27, 2018.
The alarm came as leaders of the Tiv nation yesterday accused the federal government of failing to protect the lives and property of people of the state against armed Fulani herdsmen that have continued to kill innocent lives in the state.
The Tiv leaders also insisted that Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State was allegedly responsible for the killing of the Tiv people in his state.
Engr. Abounu further informed that from the reports he had received, the mercenaries have already identified and occupied five different locations and communities along the riverine areas of the state waiting to actualize their plan.
He spoke to journalists shortly after a meeting of the State Executive Council held at Government House Makurdi.
According to him, the situation is very pathetic and called for urgent attention and immediate action by the Federal government to safeguard the lives and property of Benue people and other citizens residing in the state.
” We have received security reports which indicated that large numbers of hired armed mercenaries have moved into the Benue Valley and had mapped out five different locations in Benue state to launch possible attacks on five major communities in the state simultaneously.
“This development is absolutely worrisome and unhealthy to our state and we condemn it in totality”.
” The reports further showed that the hired mercenaries would be carrying out their nefarious attacks on those communities occupied by people around the riverine areas of the state”.
” Since we got this report, we have never rest in our oars. I have been meeting with all the heads of security formations in the state for us to find ways of stopping these people “, Abounu stressed.
He appealed to the Federal Government, to as a matter of urgency, deploy more security personnel to the state to be mounted in and around all the border communities so as to protect those living along the bank of River Benue.
But President of the famous Tiv socio-cultural organisation, Mzough U Tiv, Engr. Edward Ujege who also spoke with journalists said, it was unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari who swore by the constitution of the country to protect the lives and property in for the citizenry has failed to do so and has continued to keep quiet in the midst of mindless killing by the insurgents.
“The federal government has failed to protect our people and I join the National Assembly in calling for the resignation of all the service chiefs for failing in their responsibilities to protect Nigerians citizens”.
Engineer Ujege pointedly accused Governor Al-Makura of allegedly pushing for the escalation of the crisis in order to deny the Tiv people who have a huge population in Nasarawa State from voting during the 2019 general elections.
“The reason why the Nasarawa state Governor is killing our people there is that they don’t want them to vote in 2019. It is the voting power that they have because between 1950 and 1960, Dent was the Divisional Officer in Benue State and census was conducted and the Tiv nation had the largest population in Nassarawa even now”.
“What is happening now is that they are doing their best to kill everybody to ensure that they don’t have food to eat even the one that they harvested has been burnt down in several villages. As you can see, over 200, 000 Tiv people who have been rendered homeless have moved out of Lafia, the Nassarawa state capital and there is nobody to take care of them”.
He condemned the killing of 78 Tiv farmers in Awe, Keana, Doma, Kadarko and other villages in Nassarawa, and noted that when the killings filtered into the state, he personally called Governor Al-Makura to hear from him and also sent him text messages but did not pick as according to him, those that came and killed the people included members of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS.