A group under the aegis of Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO), today, staged a peaceful demonstration in makurdi, the Benue state capital, demanding the federal government to take decisive action against the Fulani crisis in Benue and all other religious related issues across the country.
The group condemned the wanton killings in Agatu, Tarka, Buruku Kwande Makurdi and other parts of the state even as it debunked the claim of the crisis being purely over grazing rights.
Addressing the protesters, leaders of the group, Rev Father Solomon Ukeyima, Pastor Dave Ogbole and Elder Narths Apir, in their various addresses, demanded that the federal government instituted a probe into the killings and the reason why Fulani herdsmen were allowed to traverse freely with sophisticated weapons as against the law.
While also lamenting the scale of destruction witnessed, the leaders described the current crisis as an ethnic cleansing exercise labeled Fulani/herdsmen crisis to desensitize the national consciousness.
“The on-going ethnic cleansing has been mischievously labeled Fulani/ herdsmen crisis under circumstances that are at best efforts to desensitize the national consciousness to the enormity of the scale on which Benue state people are being wiped-out on a daily basis”, one of the leaders stated.
The group which later presented its position to the Benue State House of Assembly urged it to expedite action on the Fulani/ headsmen bill already with the assembly and to also look deeply into the issues raised as contained in their position.
Addressing the protesters at the assembly complex, representatives of the ravaged local government areas of of Kwande, Makurdi North, Gwer- East and West, Guma as well as Agatu, commended members of the group over the initiative. They informed the protesters that the House was already working on bill that if passed into law will address all the issues raised.
As representatives of the people, the lawmakers said they were also saddened by the sufferings of their people occasioned by continued attacks on their communities by the herdsmen saying, they were in tacit support of the group’s position, assuring that they were going to forward their recommendations before the entire House for further deliberation.
Meanwhile the group has also called on the entire Benue people to boycott the sale and consumption of beef as a mark of respect to thousands of their people who have been massacred in the wake of the attacks.
It also requested the Federal Government to provide compensation and relief to the victims of the invasion, so as to alleviate their hardship