MACBAN Raises Alarm Over Killings in Benue State, Calls for Action

The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Benue State, Alhaji Mohammed Risku, has raised concerns about the escalating violence in some parts of the state, attributing the killings to unknown gunmen disguised in military and paramilitary uniforms.

Risku highlighted that both Fulani herders and indigenous people have been victims of these attacks, with reports of armed invasions and killings in several communities across the state. He cited recent incidents where 17 people were killed in Mbaikyaor and 26 more in separate attacks in Gwer East Local Government Area.

According to Risku, at least 31 Fulanis, including women and children, have lost their lives to these attacks between January and April of this year. He emphasized the need for urgent action from the joint military operations covering Benue and Nasarawa states, as the perpetrators continue to evade accountability.

The MACBAN leader called for the establishment of a special joint security committee by the state government, comprising local farmers, Fulani herders, and other stakeholders, to coordinate internal security efforts in affected communities and put an end to the violence.

Supporting Risku’s stance, the secretary of MACBAN, Alhaji Ibrahim Galma, reiterated the organization’s advocacy for such a committee but expressed disappointment over the government’s delay in approving it. Galma emphasized the importance of integrating the Fulani group to address the challenges facing the state.

However, the state government has refuted MACBAN’s claims, with the Security Adviser to the governor on Internal Security, Joseph Har, stating that he has not seen any evidence of Fulani herders being killed in the state. Har emphasized that the government’s focus remains on protecting all residents, regardless of ethnicity.

In response, the Command Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Catherine Anene, advised both farmers and herders to formally report any incidents to the police for proper investigation. Anene emphasized the importance of providing written reports to the police, as it would facilitate intelligence gathering and prompt action.


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