Groups say over 2000 killed by herdsmen between 2013 and 2016

Herdsmen

Three socio-cultural groups: Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede, alleged yesterday, that not less than 2000 men, women and children were killed during deadly attacks by suspected herdsmen in Benue State between 2013 and 2016.

The organisations said this to counter a recent press conference by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH) in Abuja denouncing the Benue Anti-Open Grazing Law.

In his address, President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, expressed grief that during the herdsmen’s assault, over 9,000 households were affected, even as he said property worth N95b were destroyed in 2014 alone.

The groups equally said up till now, not less than 500 persons were still missing, while over half a million others have been displaced between 2013 and 2016.

The group said the anti-open grazing law was an outcome of the people’s yearnings to emancipate themselves from slavery and preserve lives and properties rather than an initiative of government and politicians as claimed by MAKH.

It added that claim by the splinter group of Miyetti Allah that cows in Nigeria were not suitable for ranching was deceptive and a blatant lie, stressing that the same breed of cattle were bring ranched in Benue and that over 100 Fulani cattle breeders in the state had indicated willingness to operate ranches.

Meanwhile, the Benue State Police Command on Friday arraigned Umaru Easyam, a herdsman, who claimed to have come from Tse-Ikyer Mbakyoondo village in Gwer-West Local Government Area, for alleged rape of a pregnant housewife.

Prosecuting Officer, Sergeant Godwin Ato, told the court that the victim’s husband, together with Civilian Joint Task Force members in the area had on November 20 arrested and brought the accused to Naka Police Station.



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