George Kajo, Makurdi
Leaders of the three socio-cultural groups in Benue State, have decried continuous killings of Benue residents, stating categorically that the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore must be prepared to take all Benue people to the international Court in Hague, rather than only Governor Samuel Ortom as it is threatening.
“We must emphasize that Governor Ortom as a leader we popularly elected, has our total mandate and we are fully in support of every lawful initiative by his administration to tackle security challenges to bring about enduring peace in the State”.
The group states that, the orgy of bloodletting in Benue by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore will be vehemently resisted by Benue people using every available legal means; warning Miyetti Allah not to think they would blackmail, intimidate and victimize Governor Ortom and the rest of Benue people into silence about the unprovoked and coordinated killing of our people.
In a statement in Makurdi, president Generals of Mdzough U Tiv, Comptroller General of Prisons, CP Iorhee Ihyagh retired; that of Idoma, AVM Tony Adoku rtd and Igede, Dr. Ben Okpa, said Governor Ortom is fighting a just cause for the people and “we are fully in solidarity with him as any attack on the Governor is an attack on the entire Benue people who will never surrender their ancestral lands to herdsmen jihadists on a conquest agenda”.
“We feel deeply concerned and so too it has remained a subject of curiosity to many Nigerians, why the security agencies have not up to this moment, arrested even one single leader of the Miyetti Allah group who on several occasions in the national media, have boasted and claimed responsibility for the mindless attacks and killings carried out in Benue State”.
The group expressed worry that such inaction is a clear demonstration of complicity with the Miyetti Allah on the part of the Federal Government whose constitutional responsibility it is to order the arrest and prosecution of this group that has been committing heinous crimes against Benue people for a long period of time now.
The sociocultural body notes that as a leader who prioritizes the security of lives and property, Governor Ortom in genuine response to his people, recently through the State House of Assembly, established the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards as a home-grown security initiative to complement the conventional security agencies especially at the grassroots in curbing any security breaches.
“However, in their trademark pattern of antagonization and vilification of Ortom’s security initiatives, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan was quoted in an interview on Monday, August 30, 2022 saying the Miyetti Allah is “working on creating their own vigilante groups in order to protect their people from the attacks of state-owned security personnel”.
“Saleh particularly cited the Benue State local security outfit as being of concern to the group. Here too, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has once again exhibited itself as a lawless group that is bent on nothing but promoting anarchy in the land. Otherwise we wonder why any law abiding organisation would bother itself about a constitutional security formation put in place for the good of all citizens”.
The statement informed the Miyetti Allah group that Benue State Community Volunteer Guards just like the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the State is a child of necessity which is not targeted at anyone but aimed primarily at the security of the people.
We state unequivocally that Miyetti Allah’s desire to establish “their own vigilante” as they have stated is the height of evil intention to reinforce their carnage in resisting Benue laws. For us no such evil intentioned vigilante by the Miyetti Allah will operate in Benue State.
“As socio-cultural organizations in Benue State, we fully sanction the operation of the State Community Volunteer Guards which we know is operating within their rules of engagement at the grassroots. The personnel are well trained by conventional security agencies and all the security chiefs as well as the traditional institution were duly carried along in selecting men and women of unquestionable character to serve into the outfit”.
“We once again, demand the Federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the arrest and prosecution of Miyetti Allah leaders as a terrorist organisation that is perpetrating killings in Benue State and elsewhere in the country”.
According to the group, in Benue, Governor Ortom is doing peoples bidding in line with the rule of law for the cause of justice, fairness and equity and we are solidly behind him and will not be intimidated by the Miyetti Allah group people are determined to resist being annihilated in their land.
It notes that their commitment to the peace and security of Benue and the country at large remains unshaken; saying they have equal stakes as citizens of this country and must be respected otherwise the consequences will be too dire to deal with if they are undermined by Miyetti Allah and their evil cohorts.