Stop Benue Killings Now, Labour Party Tells FG

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By Alex Enumah in Abuja

The leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has expressed deep concern over the unrestrained killings of Nigerians in Benue State and called on the federal government to do everything possible to put an immediate stop to the dastardly act which has continued to assume increasing proportion since January this year.

The Chairman of the LP, Dr. Mike Omotosho, who gave the warning in a statement made available to journalists, expressed worry that the killings are taking place even in the presence of security operatives.

Omotosho in his condemnation of the act, which according to him has claimed nearly 2,000 lives since the beginning of this year, accused the government of failing to arrest the situation.

The statement read: “The leadership of LP is extremely disturbed about the unrestrained killings going on in the Middle Belt of Nigeria, especially in Benue State, allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen, where nearly 2,000 people have been killed since January even in the presence of security operatives.

“The LP condemns this incessant spilling of innocent blood of indigenous people of Nigeria, the destruction of their property and the diabolical attempt being made to uproot them from their ancestral land for nefarious reasons. We consider it reprehensible that at this critical moment in the nation’s history, the federal government would watch as the so called foreign mercenaries invade our shores and hack our citizens down in large numbers in the most callous way.

“We wish to express our concerns over the lack of interests of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government in the pain and sorrows of those killed in Benue and other places. It is even more worrisome that President Buhari is more concerned with his reelection in 2019, which suggests his apparent insensitivity to this organised rampage against hapless Nigerians.”

Omotosho in the statement signed by his media assistant, Innocent Odoh, said LP as the party of the working people is pained that Benue State, which is regarded as the food basket of the nation is being devastated.

He added that with the further depletion of the productive population being displaced and rendered destitute, the nation might soon experience food crisis. 

While stating that the increasing violence assumed genocidal proportions with last Tuesday’s massacre of two Catholic Priests and 15 worshippers in Gwer West Local Government of Benue State, the party however call for the declaration of a state of emergency in Benue State as well as other states facing security challenges.

“We also wish to express our heart-felt condolences to the families of those who have lost their loved ones and we call on the government to declare a state of emergency in Benue and other affected states.

“We demand that the federal government should come clean on these killer herdsmen and declare them terrorist and enemies of the Nigerian state and attack them with all the instruments of force in Nigeria’s arsenal.

“We also urge the federal government to ban open grazing of livestock largely blamed for this human carnage,” the statement read.