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Published On: Fri, Jan 26th, 2018

Group storms Abuja Streets against mass killings

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A Civil Society Organization (CSO), Good Governance and Transparency Initiative yesterday marched the Streets of Abuja, the Nation’s Capital, to demand end to swelling mass killings of herdsmen and crop farmers in the country.
In particular, the CSO demanded for a timely resolution of the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Benue, Taraba States and other parts of the country.
The group during a rally held at the Abuja Unity Fountain, threatened to occupy the US Embassy and other places if nothing was done urgently by the Nigerian Government and the international community to bring Governors Samuel of Benue Ortom and Darius Ishaku of Taraba States to book.
Speaking on behalf of the group, its Executive Director, Mrs. Jaiyeola Mohammed, faulted the two governors for lackadaisical attitudes, which snowballed into the senseless killings.
The group specifically came hard on Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom for using the state’s resources to sponsor protests against the current government overseas.
“The New Year killings in Benue state shocked not just the entire nation but also confounded the whole world.
“It sickened people to know that things degenerated so fast in a state with a Chief Executive/Chief Security Officer that refused to be on top of the situation and allowed things to get this bad under his watch.
“We begin to wonder what the Benue state governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom has done with the security vote of his state.
“Our bigger worry, however, is the inaction that has continued to allow attention to focus on the wrong sources of the crisis. There is so much of playing the ostrich going on while the crisis festers.
“Our thoughts are that the problem in Benue state would have been contained to that geographical entity and promptly dealt with to save other states from suffering the fallout of a politically and ethnically motivated crisis.
“A killing related to the crisis in Benue has been reported in Ekiti while Taraba, Nasarawa, Plateau and even Kaduna states are practically on edge because of what has happened in that state.
“It is most unfortunate that instead of accepting reality and admitting what he did wrong to provoke the current crisis, Governor Ortom has rather engaged in looking at the cause of the problem in every other place except within himself.
“This is despite the barrage of documentary evidence of him setting up militias and placing firearms in their arms to kill herdsmen.
“He is yet to explain what he stands to gain from the deaths of Benue people that he knew would definitely result from reprisals from the activities of his militias.
“The Benue state governor has even taken things a step further by deploying N1 billion of his state’s fund to finance protests in major cities of the world as we earlier alerted.
“Not even the shame of being discovered as manipulating events was enough to dissuade this governor from this folly. Our concern is how a state governor could spend so much of his state’s resources on just eight (8) protesters in the United States.
“We then wonder how much he has spent on the hundreds of militias he has organized and how much he has expended on their weapons,”she said.

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