Nigerians on Thursday wept as dozens of Benue residents who were killed in an attacked by alleged herdsmen on New Year's day were being buried.
Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Peace and Security (CSGPS) on Thursday in Lagos called on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency in both Benue and Taraba states on account of series of killings occurring in the state brought about by rampaging Fulani herdsmen.
He said, "I am telling Nigerians that my people can not continue to be cannon fodder for this country". If the government can't protect us, we will mobilise and train our people into an army to defend us.
But the Group argued that the Governor's actions and utterances were capable of escalating the security crisis, adding that, "it comes to us as a great dismay that Fayose as a leader of that repute has never in his life created a solution, which was why he was elected in the first place but rather has been inciting one section of the country against the other". "I am the spiritual and ancestral leader of the Tiv nation; enough is enough", Unongo said.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Friday said that he would never amend the anti open grazing law.
"If the Federal Government can not stop or arrest those behind the killings; in two weeks, we shall raise an army of our own. We can not allow people to colonise us again, we have all it takes to do that", Unongo said.
"Lawrence Onoja, former military governor of Katsina state, described the attacks" a conspiracy against the indigenes" and said it would be resisted.
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Plateau state governor, Samson Lalong had faulted the anti-grazing law, saying he warned Ortom against it. What we found out has been corroborated by the confessions of the members of the (Benue State) Civilian JTF on national television. "If the Federal Governmrnt refuses to address the killings in Benue and if we decide to raise our army as advocated by our elders to defend ourselves, l will not mind to command that army despite my age".
"The FG and the Benue State government should also open talks directly with the herdsmen who live in the bush than relying on negotiations with the leadership of the Fulani herdsmen in order to get to the root cause of their grievances".
Udende noted that the recent violence against the people was a clear manifestation of the earlier threat by the body to mobilize against the implementation of the law in the state.
"We also demand that a state of emergency be immediately declared in Benue State and any other states where crisis between herders and farmers may break out in the nearest future so as to forestall any further deterioration of the crisis anywhere in the country".
"We wish to state categorically that the Benue State Government under Governor Samuel Ortom has not recruited any militia group and armed them since the Governor assumed office", the state insisted.
He said the suggestions were not acceptable to the Benue people.
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