Benue Buries Over 70 Victims of Herdsmen Attack
Seventy three victims murdered by suspected herdsmen in Guma and Logo Local Government areas of Benue State have been given a state and mass burial.
Speaking at a Funeral Service organised for the victims by the state Government and Christian Association of Nigeria, Governor Samuel Ortom said their massacre was a sad event in the history of the state.
The Governor who referred to them as heroes of the anti open grazing law said the decision to give them a state burial was to preserve the painful memory of the deaths in the minds of the people.
Governor Ortom repeated his call on the Federal Government to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for masterminding the killings giving their rejection of the anti grazing law.
Mr. Ortom however noted that no amount of intimidation or attack can change his administrations mind not to enforce the anti open grazing law which adopts ranching as the best method of rearing livestock.
In his remarks, the Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria, Benue State, Reverend Akpen Leva described the killing as a well planned genocide against Benue and urged the people to unite irrespective of religious or political differences to defend the state.
On his part, the United Nations country representative in Nigeria, Dr. Martins Okey Ezedike urged the Nigerian Government to investigate the killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Dr. Ezedike said he would open discussion with the Benue State Government regarding the plight of the over forty thousand persons that have been displaced by the crisis after which other UN bodies in the country would be contacted to offer humanitarian assistance.
Other who spoke including, Tor Tiv Professor James Ayatse, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, Senator George Akume, Senator Joseph Waku and General Lawrence Onoja all condemned the attack that led to the killings, saying the people would no longer take the attacks.
Correspondent Terna Injua reports that the funeral service and mass burial was attended by a capacity crowd including the APC Chairman John Oyegun