*Demands authorization for high grade weapons for state vigilante:
Prominent civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has blamed president Muhammadu Buhari for the continuous invasion of parts of Benue state by armed Fulani herdsmen and the killings of scores of farmers and rendering of thousands of children, old men women as internally displaced persons (IDPS).
HURIWA has resolved to write a petition to the Secretary General of the United Nations Mr.Antonio Guiterres, the President of the United States of America Joe Biden and the Prime Minister of Great Britain Liz Truss on the systematic genocidal killings of Benue Citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen whilst the Federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari fails to take step to stop the prolonged coordinated attacks.
The rights group blamed the increasing spate of targeted attacks in Benue state to the refusal of president Muhammadu Buhari to authorize the Benue state’s legally constituted vigilantes to bear high grade weapons so as to wage successful war on armed non-state actors that have commenced massive attacks since around July of the inauguration state licensed vigilantes.
Suspected killer herdsmen recently attacked Tse Ngojov and Tse Valem Yaweh in the Mbagum community of Tombo council ward, Logo local government area and killed six people.
Besides, HURIWA confirmed that it has received from security official verified official information that “On 21st Sept 2022 at about 10:00 pm armed Fulani herdsmen attacked Mchia village in Nbagber council ward Logo LGA. They murdered 12 persons and shot fifteen persons including children who are now receiving treatment at NKST hospital Anyiin. Those murdered are ;
1 Mr. Atsagba Oliver Chion
2.Mr. Mchivga Utume
3.Mr. Bemdoo Hindi
4. Mr. Aondonengen Kwaghwe
5.Mr. Shinku Ngimsho
6. Mr Gwa Joseph
7. Mr Vihishima Mbanomso
8. Mr Liter Yeke
9. Mr. Sonter Chieam
10. Mr. Aondosoo and
They also Carried out a seperate attack on Mou village in Ukemberegy /Tswarev council ward Logo LGA and murdered 2 persons ;
1. Mr Lanem Dooior and
2 Mr Iorungwa Andy Uchir.
They also shot and injured persons;
1., Mr Shaorga Akaaume
2. Mr. Emeka Ike (an Igbo man)
3. Mr. Ubugh Obele &
4 Mr. Aondosoo Aondoakaa.
The victims are also receiving treatment at NKST hospital Anyiin.
The attack was unprovoked, says HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA in a media statement issued in Abuja.
HURIWA in a related development quoted another local source as stating that the heavily armed herdsmen came in large numbers, shooting sporadically.
HURIWA said it cobfirmed that: “On August 10, 2022, at about 9:00 p.m., armed Fulani herdsmen attacked Tse Ngojov and Tse Valem Yaweh in Mbagum community Tombo council ward Logo LGA and murdered the following persons: Mr Ander John, Vihior Mtomga, Morgan Varem, Saaior Uyoosu, Aondoyima Peter Ason while several others sustained injuries,” said a source.
HURIWA recalled that the Logo council chairperson, Hon Mrs Salome Tor, confirmed the killings thus:
“Six people were killed. Twelve people were badly injured, and corpses of deceased persons have been deposited at the Primary Health Care Centre in Ayilamo. People are running helter-skelter, moving from the hinterlands to the Ayilamo town,” Tor explained.
HURIWA recalled that the Council Chairperson stated further thus: “I have reported the matter to the security adviser to the governor and sent him pictures of those killed, including the injured. The attack was without provocation, and it occurred at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.” Governor Samuel Ortom has directed the evacuation of the injured to the teaching hospital Makurdi for treatment, according to his special adviser on security, Col. Paul Hemba.
HURIWA recalled that the police command in Benue also confirmed the incident. The Commissioner of Police in Benue, Wale Abass made the confirmation as reported by the media.
HURIWA said the attack came barely a week after Ortom launched the Benue Community Volunteers Guards which the Rights group said these attacks are well funded and clearly been carried out with a mindset of wiping away the population of Benue State. The Rights group condemned officials of the office of the President for consistently attacking Governor Samuel Ortom for being outspoken and for taking concrete steps to set up vigilantes to ward off these systematic attacks on his people.
Reacting to the persistent violence unleashed by armed Fulani terrorists in parts of Benue State, HURIWA stated that it was inconceivable that President Muhammadu Buhari will refuse to allow the Benue State as well as Amotekun in the South West to be armed with sophisticated weapons to combat the massive attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen just as the Rights group wondered why it is so.
At least six persons were feared dead in renewed armed herdsmen attack on Umella village in Mbawa Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state, the Rights group recalled.
The attackers, HURIWA recalled also reportedly left several persons injured while survivors were said to have fled the community with their family members to safer areas.
HURIWA continued: “We reliably were informed by a source in the area who spoke on condition of anonymity that the invaders stormed the community at about 3 pm on the fateful Thursday shooting sporadically and killing anyone they caught up with. “The Fulani herdsmen came around 3pm and attacked the villagers. They shot and killed and also macheted their victims. Six persons were found dead and several others sustained injuries after the attackers retreated, but majority of the people have also fled their homes.” he said.
Relatedly, HURIWA has called on the National Assembly to investigate why president Buhari has rejected the lawful requests by states like Benue and Ondo State for sophiscated weapons for their legally constituted vigilantes whereas similar vigilantes in Katsina State are carrying sophiscated weapons which are helping to reduce the frequency of devastating attacks by armed Fulani terrorists.
HURIWA recalled that the Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had lambasted the Federal Government of Nigeria, noting that the country cannot have two systems.
In a statement on Thursday, Akeredolu reacted to the video showing the Katsina security outfit obtaining the approval to bear arms.
The governor said this followed government’s denial of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) to carry assault rifles despite terror attacks.
Akeredolu noted that denying Amotekun the rights to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamoring for.
“That Katsina was able to arm its state security force, with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question.
“If the Katsina situation conferring advantages on some, in the face of commonly faced existential threats, it means that our unitary policing system, which has failed, is a deliberate method of subjugation which must be challenged.”
The governor said Nigeria’s independence agreement was based on a democratic arrangement to have a federal state and devolved internal security mechanics. We must go back to that agreement.
He added that denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organized crime.
“It is also a deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat. We want to reiterate, that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.”
The statement announced that the Ondo government, under the doctrine of necessity, “has decided to fulfil its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the State, by acquiring arms to protect them”.
“This is more so, given that the bandits have an unchecked access to sophisticated weapons. The State government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.”
HURIWA has therefore asked governors who genuinely wish to combat armed invasions of their communities to do the needful to save their states from coordinated and predetermined destruction by armed Fulani terrorists.