The Chairman Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Benue Chapter, Mr Emmanuel Agbakor, has called on the international community to rescue Benue people from the hands of those he called ‘marauding herdsmen’.
Agbakor, who made the call on Saturday in Makurdi, while interacting with journalists, said the situation where herdsmen kill, rape, maim people and destroy their properties, was unacceptable.
The NBA chairman accused the federal government of failing to protect the Benue communities.
But as Agbakor sought foreign help, the Nigerian Police High Command stepped up the security web for the state.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris said he has deployed five additional units of mobile police force, helicopters and special intelligence squads to troubled local councils, both in Benue and River states.
He placed commissioners of Police and Police Personnel in the affected States on red alert, while also ordering 24 hour crime prevention and visibility patrols all over the Country.
A statement by Jimoh Moshood, the police spokesman, said the measures have been taken by the IGP to nip in the bud and prevent further attacks on innocent Nigerians by suspected herdsmen and other criminal elements in the mentioned States.
Agbakor may think these moves had come too late as 17 people were killed in the latest attack by the herdsmen in Logo and Guma LGA.
The attack happened on New Year’s Day. Affected were Gaambe-Tiv, Ayilamo, Turan. Umenger, Tse-Akor and Tomaater, near Tse-Aabi in Logo and Guma local Government areas.
A spokesman of the Miyetti Allah in Benue said the attack was provoked by the theft of 1000 cows by rustlers.
Agbakor recalled that the state government reported to the federal government, about the threats issued by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, as published in newspaper advertisement.
Miyetti, he said vowed to mobilise its members to resist the implementation of the anti-open grazing Law enacted by the state.
He wondered why the federal government did nothing to avert the attacks. With the recent attacks unleashed on the people of the state by the herdsmen, Agbakor said the state NBA had no other option than to call on the international community to salvage the situation.
He further called on Governor Samuel Ortom and all the National Assembly members from the state and other well meaning citizens of the state to ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous acts were brought to book.
”They must all unite irrespective of their party differences in ensuring that the problem is solved now, once and for all.
”Enough of Benue blood had been spilled to water the unity of Nigeria and no criminal, however, highly placed will be permitted to inflict unjustified mayhem on the dignified Benue people,” he said.