Idoma editors condemn Benue killings, suggest way out

A media professionals group, The Idoma Editors, has thumbed down what it described as the “nauseatingly historical killings in Benue communities by suspected terrorists also known as killer herders.”

According to them, the killings of innocent indigenes had “assumed a monumental proportion during the just concluded Easter celebration with Umogidi village, Guma and Agan IDPs Camps repeatedly attacked leaving scores dead.

This was contained in a press statement issued Friday in Abuja by the acting president of the group, Adoyi M. Aba.

The statement read in part, “We have undertaken a thorough evaluation of this sustained violence against the peace-loving people of Benue state and wish to unequivocally condemn the brazen ex-communication of lives by these suspected terrorists who masquerade as herders.

“We’re particularly distrustful of the spread of these attacks to more communities in Benue South as the area is historically known to be peaceful, friendly and an excellent host haven for other Nigerians. We’re even taken aback by these well-orchestrated attacks that led to the death of no fewer than 50 and injuries to many others in Umogidi village at Adoka District of Otukpo local government area of the state.

“We also denounce the unprovoked attacks on innocent displaced people in the IDPs camps in both Guma and Agan communities in Makurdi. These dastardly acts of killing defenceless and vulnerable people, including women and children, in the IDPs camps can only be carried out by blood-thirsty demons masquerading as humans.”

According to the group, even though the governorship election has already produced a governor-elect, “we wish to advise the incumbent governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, not to adjudicate his constitutional function of ensuring the safety of lives and property in the state until his last day in office.”

“We are not unaware of the enormous security challenge that has limited the progress and development of the state in the last eight years, but that should not stop the government from functioning optimally.

“We, however, thank Governor Ortom for his several efforts made to abate human carnage, even as we hope that the in-coming governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iornem Alia, won’t waste time in re-setting the security architecture to insulate the state from further external aggression.

“We also called on the federal government to approve a special military exercise for the state where all suspected forests, mountains and other hidden zones in and around the state could be flushed.

“It is surprising that Benue, blessed with a plethora of military formations, remains unsafe for habitation.”

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