Hundreds of Benue State indigenes made up of women and youths on Thursday stormed the National Assembly in protest against the killing of 73 people in two local governments of the state by killer Fulani herdsmen.
The protesters under the aegis of the Benue Women Forum who wore black dresses and carried placards that had various inscriptions: ‘Resign as patron of Myetti Allah now,’ ‘Save us from Fulani herdsmen’.
The group noted that: “On the 1st of January, 2018 armed herdsmen members of Miyetti Allah launched unprovoked attack on several communities in Guma and Logo local government areas of our Benue State while the people were sleeping, killing and maiming (including women and children). Pregnant women were cut open their unborn babies slaughtered like animals.”
In a letter to the National Assembly addressed to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives titled: “Benue Women Cry Out,” the Women forum further said: Mr. President, as the Chief Security Officer of this great nation, ensure that Miyetti Allah gets its members to adhere to the Open Grazing Prohibition Law in Benue State.
Copy of the petition was also sent to National Human Rights Commission for further intervention.
“They will listen to you as their life Patron. Otherwise, you will be seen as being complacent to the lawlessness of armed marauding herdsmen with the Benue people not having any protection under your government.”
They also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to resign as the Patron of Miyetti Allah “if they cannot listen to your counsel to you counsel. For we believe that Mr. President cannot encourage them to be lawless, maniacal and callous.
According to them, the invasion resulted in massive destruction of property and means of livelihood. This unfortunate incidence deliberately targeted the harvest season so that the destruction of farm produce is massive. This is intended to leave the people hungry, homeless and impoverished.
The group said the enactment of the anti- open grazing law was because of incessant attacks, “and intended for the protection of both livestock and crop farmers.”
According to them, the Miyetti Allah had boasted they would not obey the law and that the sudden attack is a proof of it.
“Mr. President, sir is this possible under your watch that people of a state are annihilated under you? You are said to be life patron of Miyetti Allah, what is your counsel to them?” the protesters asked.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja