The recent herdsmen attack on Benue State communities based on the accusation on the killing of cows as the reasons for the attack has been refuted by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. James Anbua.
Anbua, while speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Makurdi, said there were no proves that the current killings in some rural areas of the state had any link to alleged cattle rustling by the locals, neither did the villagers steal animals belonging to certain herders group.
Also, Special Assistant on Herdsmen Matters, Alhaji Shehu Tambaya, has said it was not true that the people of the communities which came under gunmen’s attack in the wake of new year rustled 1,000 cows at any time.
According to Anbua, he faulted the Benue State Coordinator of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Garus Gololo, who reportedly told BBC that the cause of the present crisis in the state was as a result of 1000 cattle forcibly taken away from its owners by some local youths around the Benue border villages to Nasarawa and Taraba States.
“Gololo’s statement is nothing but propaganda. This is not the first time he would be doing this, he is used to lying. I urge security agencies to arrest him because he has to prove who and where those 1,000 cos were rustled.
“He is not even in the state as we speak the so I don’t know where he got information about 1,000 cattle rustled. He is still being wanted for the false alarm of 200 cows he alleged was missing few days after the November 1, 2017, implementation of the grazing law,” he said.
Gololo had accused members of the communities and live stock guard set up by the state government of rustling over 1,000 herds which he said was the reason why the herdsmen attack the communities.
Meanwhile, women across Benue State yesterday called on the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, to rise up as the mother of Nigeria to challenge her husband to reshape the nation’s security architecture that would guarantee the safety of mothers and children in their homes.
The women led by a former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in the state, Mrs. Elizabeth Apedzan, said they have decided to troop in their numbers to Government House to commiserate with wife of the governor of Benue State, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, over the killings of unarmed mothers and children as well as other people in Guma, Logo Local Government Area.
Apedzan stated that Benue women would not stop to cry until Buhari decides to do the needful by deploying relevant adequate security to the state to avert further killings in the state.
She condemned the killings, describing it as ethnic cleansing and called on President Buhari to rise to the occasion by bringing it to an end.
‘’We have asked him to denounce being patron of the miyetti Allah,’’ she stated.
Also speaking wife of the Tor Sankara, Mrs. Elizebath Shuluwa, called on Mrs. Ortom to lead a delegation of Benue women to wife of the president Mrs. Buhari to speak to her husband to come to the aid of Benue.
Mrs. Ortom thanked the women for identifying with such a good cause and promised to stand with them until justice is done and promised to take their message to Abuja.