Your Islamic State fighters’ narrative diversionary, Benue groups tell DSS
•Minister links killings to arms’ proliferation, drug abuse
•NYSC confirms shooting of corps member
Four socio-cultural groups have termed the linking by the Department of State Services (DSS) of the fighters of the Islamic States of West Africa to the January 1, 2018 attacks on communities in Logo and Guma council areas of Benue State as diversionary.
The quartet – Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum, Omi Ny’Igede and Benue Youth Forum dismissed the report of the secret police service in its entirety.They restated their call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for the killings, vowing that no amount of intimidation would deter them from protecting the anti-open grazing law.
President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Edward Ujege, who spoke for the first three groups at a press conference yesterday in Makurdi, said it might be true that some of the attackers were foreigners, he, however, alleged that the herders’ body was their sponsors.
Describing as a waste of resources the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee raised by the National Economics Council to look into the clashes, Ugeje stated: ”Our belief is that the perpetrators of the criminal invasion of our land by mercenaries hired by influential cattle owners are known by all the security agencies in this country. So, the people would never accept the cattle colony idea. We condemn the manner the Federal Government and some governors are trying to politicise the massacre in Benue State.”
In a statement by its president, Terrence Kuanum, the youth forum lampooned the report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.Also yesterday, the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau linked the killings in parts of the federation to proliferation of small arms and drug abuse.
During a meeting with heads of some security agencies in Abuja, he asserted that the illegal transfer of small arms and light weapons poses serious threat to national peace and security. He therefore called for an urgent action.
Besides, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Nasarawa State confirmed the shooting of a corps member, Mr. Ogbu Garuba, by unknown gunmen in Benue State.
The State Coordinator, Mrs. Zainab Isah, at a press briefing yesterday in Lafia, said Garuba, a 2017 Batch A Stream 1 member serving at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), was shot in the knee and the arm late December when he visited his family at Utonkon village in Ado council area and is currently recuperating at a hospital in Benue.
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