May 21, 2024

Alia urges Benue communities to establish vigilante groups

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, has on called the various communities in the state to establish vigilante groups to assist security agencies to combat the menace of herders attacks.

Gov Alia stated this during the mass burial of the seventeen “Martyrs of the Anti-Open Grazing Law in Mbaikyor” at Mbaikyor, Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area of the state.

Recall that on Thursday, March 7, 2024, armed herdsmen attacked Mbaikyor community, where they killed some persons, including a retired army officer and a little boy.

It was, however, learnt that, two out of the seventeen peasant farmers were earlier buried, as their corpses were fast decomposing due to the gruesome way they were murdered by their assailants, while the remaining 17 were buried yesterday.

He said, “Today is a sad day in the history of Benue State; to line up caskets like this is unacceptable. I am so sad and my heart is heavy to see this kind of spectacle that shouldn’t have happened.”

Alia, however, said, “Security is not for government alone because there is no one that can protect you like yourself; you need to have a Joint Security Taskforce or vigilante groups that would be properly profiled and handed over to Government to handle them. That is the solution to the insecurity we are facing in the state”, he emphasized.

The GOVERNOR also pledged to construct the road that traverse the axis to ease the movement of security agencies to the area in times of emergencies, adding that the community was also ripe for a police station.

The member of the Benue House of Assembly representing Gwer East State Constituency Elias Audu, wondered why despite the availability of fighter planes to tackle such attacks, security personnel do not live up to their expectation

He advised that the relevant security agency should be reprimanded because they would have intervened in the crisis, using fighter helicopters in such a situation, adding that they didn’t act when his people were under siege for over 3 hours.

Audu, however, appreciated Governor Alia for all he has done since the advent of the incident, including the Easter distribution he made available to the victims’ families.

President, Masev Development Association, Prof. Vitalis Tarhule, noted that the primary responsibility of government was the protection of lives and property, even as he appealed to government to endeavor to protect the people.

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