From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi
Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. David Iorhemba has raised alarm over what he described as the incessant killing of his people by Fulani herdsmen. Iorhemba who represents Guma State Constituency in the Assembly, told newsmen yesterday that 30 Tiv people died in the October 14 invasion of six villages within his constituency by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
However, in a swift reaction, the Benue State Police Command through its spokesman, Daniel Ezeala, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) insisted that only one person was killed in the said attack. Armed with gory pictures of corpses of persons who were allegedly murdered in the mayhem, the Speaker who decried the wanton destruction of lives and property of his people by Fulani herdsmen claimed that some Nigeriens were even hired to wipe out the Tiv race.
Speaker Iorhemba lamented that some of the corpses of those who were killed in the attack had decomposed to the extent that they had to be buried in mass graves, which according to him, was against the Tiv culture. While calling on the Federal Government to immediately set up Presidential Committee of enquiry to look into the Tiv /Fulani crisis, Iorhemba also advocated that the National Assembly should define the scope of terrorism in the country.
He recalled that on August 8 and 9, this year, Fulani herdsmen stormed Kardarko Market in Nasarawa State and killed eight Tiv people without any provocation. “I ask why these senseless killings of my people? Is it that the Tiv people are no longer needed in Nigeria? I think I may have to take this matter to the United Nations if this progrom continues.”
The lawmaker who indicted some traditional rulers in Nasarawa State for allegedly habouring the Fulani herdsmen to unleash terror on the Tivs, also recommended that monarchs should be cautioned and disciplined if found guilty of aiding and abetting the killings. Meanwhile, PPRO Ezeala told Daily Sun in a chat that only one person was killed in the attack, stressing that normalcy had returned to the area as both the Nigerian Army and the Police immediately stepped into the matter and had continued to keep surveillance on the affected communities. The police spokesman called on all those villagers who fled the affected areas to return to their homes, assuring them of the safety of their lives and property.