Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Network of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) stole the show at the Workers Day celebration which held at the IBB Square, in Makurdi, on Tuesday, as they staged a peaceful protest to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government must stop the Benue killings immediately.
The over 50 CSOs bore different placards with various inscriptions including, “Buhari, Every Benue Youth is a Yusuf”, “Our lives matter,” Enough is Enough,” while chanting that the President should say something about the Benue killings.
Speaking on behalf of the Network, Pastor Dave Ogbole who regretted the continued massacre of Benue people by invading herdsmen maintained that a crime is being committed in Benue against humanity.
“While President Buhari government remains clueless, Benue remains lifeless. They that kill us are more organized. Our only crime is that we have water and grass. The President has come again to shift to a new narrative that the killers are Gaddaffi-trained militiamen. A crime is being committed in Benue State against humanity. Enough is enough.”
Ogbole who expressed support for the Governor Samuel Ortom and the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law insisted that the law would not be bent to accommodate mischief.
“We stand with our governor and the open grazing prohibition law. Laws are made to address mischief. Our laws will not be scrapped to accommodate mischief.
“If they want to scrap our law, they should first scrap the sharia law. If nobody is querying Zamfara State for making sharia law, nobody should query our law because we will not bend it.”
While positing that the military exercise was a cover to accommodate herdsmen to take over Benue land, the Network demanded that the military exercise code armed Ex Ayem Akpatuma be scrapped and a better one be authorized in the state.
The group who revealed that they would be occupying Benue for one week starting from Tuesday to Sunday further urged the State government to institute a judicial commission of inquiry to enable the state demand justice.
“Our law has come to stay. You can recover stolen funds but you cannot recover stolen or killed lives. Until their is justice there can’t be lasting peace. We demand IGP’s immediate removal.