A coalition of protesters from Benue South on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly complex to protest the protracted massacre of the Idoma by Fulani herdsmen in Agatu Local Area of the state.
No fewer than 300 persons have been confirmed dead in a renewed outbreak of violence in Agatu local government area of Benue state.
The attacks were carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen in various part of the local government. The affected villages include Okokolo, Akwu, Ocholonya, Adagbo, Ugboku and Aila, which were completely burnt down by the attackers.
Before arriving at the National Assembly, the protesters who set out in their hundreds from Unity Fountain, had earlier staged a protest at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as well as the Ministry of Justice, demanding for the urgent intervention of the federal government in the crisis.
Leading the group, Paul Ede, said the mindless killings in Agatu by suspected herdsmen for four consecutive weeks had claimed no fewer than 400 lives while 5, 000 others had been rendered homeless.
He demanded for the constitution of a commission of inquiry to look into their plights as well as the deployment of soldiers and policemen to Agatu to maintain law and order.
He also demanded for the distribution of relief materials to internally-displaced persons in the town as well as the immediate restoration of peace in the area.
While addressing the protesters, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’ Allah, said the harm done to Idoma was done to all as he promised to report their demands to the Senate.
“As far as the Senate is concerned, an injury to one Idoma man is an injury to all. We are with you 100 percent in the protest. We will take these demands back to Senate and decision will be taken on them,” he promised.
Meanwhile, Benue State Police Commissioner, Paul Yakadi, stated that over 5,000 cows accompanied by armed Fulani herdsmen were occupying part of Agatu local government area of the state, where about 300 lives were allegedly lost last week and 7,000 persons displaced.
Killing of villagers had continued unabated despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that a panel of investigation into the crisis be established and announcement of the establishment of an inter-agency security team to forestall further attacks.
Armed Fulani herdsmen Similarly, Benue State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, claimed the killings in Agatu by suspected Fulani herdsmen weres politically-motivated because the people of the area “overwhelmingly voted for Senator David Mark” in the last senatorial re-run election in Benue South senatorial District.