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Benue Killings: If we do not do something…it will create further crisis in the country, says Saraki
Bukola Saraki, Senate President, says it is unfortunate that nobody, not even a constable, has been held accountable for the herdsmen killings across the country.
Saraki made these remarks during Thursdays senate plenary, stressing that the situation has gotten out of hand and must not be allowed to continue.
While commiserating with George Akume and Barnabas Gemade, both from Benue State, on the recent killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the State, Saraki said President Muhammadu Buhari will be invited to address a joint session of the National Assembly on what steps his administration is taking to curb the crisis.
Saraki said the situation used to be a case of farmers/herdsmen clashes, but wondered why the herdsmen have resorted to attacking places of worship and killing clergymen.
“As you have all rightly observed, then we were talking about herdsmen and farmers. Now we are talking about herdsmen and religious leaders,” Saraki said.
“We all know that the dimension it is taking can lead to a serious crisis in this country. It means that we need drastic action. We must say No. These daily killings have to stop.
“The solution has to be what do we do. It is amazing that not even a constable or an officer has been held accountable or sanctioned for this issue. We can’t continue like this.
“These are one too many of these killings and as we have rightly said, these are criminals and armed bandits and are not ethnic or religious based.
“It is clear that if we do not do something it will take a coloration that might create further crisis in this country. That is why there is need for Mr. President to come and address the two chambers.
“I will meet with the Speaker (Yakubu Dogara) to look at that as soon as possible. We hope that with that opportunity we will also be able to better advise if there is need for State of Emergency to be declared in those states, and secondly why the leaderships of those security agencies do not require changes in order to restore confidence in the institution.
“But clearly, something needs to be done, and we will make sure something is done.”
On Tuesday, 19 persons, including two Catholic priests, were killed when herdsmen attacked Ayar-Mbalom community in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State.
Less than 24 hours later, another 16 persons were also killed in Ali Agundu and Tsav council wards in Guma Local Government.
On Thursday, The Punch reported that herdsmen attacked another Church in logo LGA of Benue State, killing seven persons who were taking refuge in the Church.