Fulani Herdsmen: What Buhari told Ortom in closed door meeting(Details)

The Emergency Management Agency of the Nigerian State of Benue revealed today that more than 80 people have died in this region since December 31, following clashes between cattle ranchers and farmers.

Local residents said more than 50 people were killed in the January 1-2 attacks.

It is somewhat comforting, however, that President Buhari has reportedly condemned the Benue killings.

Ortom said the anti-open grazing law, which his administration signed into law previous year had brought peace, until the herdsmen attacks. A day after the attack, thousands of protesters stormed major roads in Makurdi. They were neither disarmed nor turned back.

According to Ortom, "Anything that can stop the killings of my people, I will go for it".

Fifty-nine of the deceased are slated for a mass burial in a village near the Air Force Base in Makurdi, the state capital, on Thursday morning. They risk bleeding to death like numerous victims of these attacks, which may earn him the unpleasant verdict of history as a leader who could not learn from the past and the present despite being taught repeatedly by his and others' experiences.

Herdsmen in recent times have unleashed terror on several communities.

More units of the Police Special Forces, Counter Terrorism Units, and conventional police were also deployed to Benue State on Monday.

Olurode, a professor of Sociology at University of Lagos, said the government should initiate a policy aimed at earmarking some resources for the production of feeds for the cattle of herdsmen.

In 2018, at least 44 persons have been killed in the state following raids by Fulani herdsmen and despite words of consolation from president Buhari that the situation will be addressed, the level of vulnerability of the middle belt state to further attacks remain high. "We need to ask where they get the guns they used in the killing and where they learnt how to shoot guns". Do we have Berom herdsmen, Tiv herdsmen, Igbo herdsmen, Akum herdsmen, Ebira herdsmen, Fali herdsmen, Izi-Ezaa-Ikwo-Mgbo herdsmen, Iyive herdsmen, Izere herdsmen, Kubi herdsmen or Etulo herdsmen? It is not true, as some Nigerians now believe, that pastoralists are on a mission to wipe out some communities. They have the prey within the vicinity of Tonga to attack.

  • Joanne Flowers