From Uche Nnorom Makurdi
Ethnic communities and socio-cultural organizations in Benue State have sued for the promotion of unity and peace among Nigerians while advocating against hate speeches among the people.
The communities include, Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum, Omi Ny’Igede, Igbo Community in Makurdi and Gboko, Nupe, Yoruba, Igala, Jukum, South-South, Nasarawa United Farmers Association, Etulo and Nyifon.
Arising from a meeting held at the Office of the Secretary to the Benue State Government at the weekend in Makurdi and attended by over 77 leaders of 12 ethnic groups, they urged religious leaders particularly Christians and Muslims to promote unity and peace in their sermons and interactions as well as encourage their followers to register as voters.
They commended the leadership of Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede for the bold steps they have collectively taken to bring peace, unity and harmony to Benue State, pledging to support the peace moves initiated by the 3 principal socio-cultural organizations.
“We support the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and the Benue State Government especially in the Implementation of the law prohibiting open grazing law and for the establishment of ranches and also, the efforts of the Tor Tiv, Och’Idoma and traditional rulers to ensure peace in Benue State.
“We also, support the demand for the restructuring of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to accommodate State Police and other requests.
“We blame the Federal Government for her lukewarm approach to the killings of innocent citizens and such state that we do no longer have confidence in the Nigeria Police Force handling of the massacre in Benue and other States, as they are extremely bias especially the Inspector General of Police Idris Ibrahim.
The communities equally reaffirmed their support for ranching as best solution to herdsmen/farmers clashes and condemned the idea of cattle colony, while urging Government to utilize its information dissemination machinery especially the cultural groups to enlighten the people on the need for vigilance, peace and harmony.
Similarly, they called on the Federal Government to bring to book the sponsor of the killings in Benue and other States as well as pay extra attention to the growing humanitarian situation in neighboring Nassarawa State especially the displacement of people on the borders with Benue State.
“We call on Govemor of Nassarawa State, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al Makura to check the usage of his State as transit camp for herdsmen attacking Benue State and check the pogrom against the Tiv people in Nassarawa State.
“We appeal to humanitarian organizations to come to the assistance of the internally displaced people as a result of the herdsmen invasion,” the communiqué read.