Benue people gave the IG of Police some good reception yesterday.
Below are some of the things they said to him face to face. They also told him to transmit the message to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Chief Edward Ujege:
Mr IGP sir, until you explain what you meant by “Communal clashes” we are not going to trust you. And these questions have occupied our hearts since your arrival to the state.
Do you have a heart to fight these people?
Are you not compromised already?
Help us convey these words to the president, while insurgency erupted in the east the president ordered for a special military unit called Operation Python Dance. We also demand for a special military operation in Benue. I may be speaking rubbish but it’s because the person who seems to be our shield has abandoned us.
Hon Mrs Apedzan:
Mr IGP, the women have asked me to demand an unreserved apology from you for referring to Benue state attacks as a communal clash. May I bring to your notice that the people killing us are not hoodlums, they are Fulanis, we know the real Fulanis who are staying at Abuja and other big cities in Nigeria, these ones are just spies. Six Fulanis are currently standing trial in the state, the people killing us are Fulanis.
How could Audu Ogbeh have suggested he is creating colonies. We say no. The answer is ranching.
In Audu’s local government, a catholic priest was killed by the Fulani militia
Tell Mr President, there would be no going back on the issue of Ranching
“Sir your coming to the State is an insult on our sensibility, your DIG said on the television that the terrain is complex to the Nigerian police, are you now coming to clear the terrain? What we need here is a military presence, we don’t need you here. Audu Ogbeh is not representing us, he is representing his family.
PROF DANIEL SAROR:
“I have been to those affected areas, these people are not looking for grass to feed their cattle, their mandate is to kill and take over. If they were looking for grass they won’t carry arms with Islamic inscriptions on them.
Sir don’t let us be fooled into thinking that you are here to protect us, the federal government should also join us in creating ranches all over Nigeria. Colonies and grazing reserves won’t work. Creation of grazing reserve is an evil plan. How do we sleep with people carrying sophisticated arms? Ranching is the only way out for us. Sir, the president sent you to Benue and you couldn’t drive straight, you had to stop over at Nasarawa state? We have lost confidence in your ability to protect us”
Just yesterday, my village was attacked, my house was burnt down. Permit me to speak on the word integrity.
When you were to be appointed, so many senior ranking officers were sacked on the believe that you have integrity, do we believe on this or we should say all that glitters is not gold? We voted overwhelmingly for Mr President, is he saying all that glitters is not gold?
Is it an offence that we have refused to hit back?
Tell Mr President that his integrity is in question. Inform Mr President that by 2019 we are going to vote against him overwhelmingly.
I want to start by asking this question, is the Governor of Nasarawa state a friend or a foe? Nasarawa state has become a camping ground for our enemies, Commissioner of Police Nasarawa state, what have you been doing?
IGP sir, are you here to ridicule us, if not you must arrest all the culprits before you leave.
Even yesterday, the leader of Miyetti Allah said on the television that our anti grazing law in Benue is impracticable.
Now that you are here, go to these affected areas and see things for yourself.
Last year when Agatu was affected and the Fulanis ran to Nasarawa state, the Benue state assembly member from Agatu reported to your office, (then you were Commissioner from Nasarawa state.) you said until you received information from the headquarters, today you are in the headquarters. IGP, in clear terms, you are not doing enough.
“Sir, if the Nigerian Police can not protect us, we will exercise our constitutional right by defending ourselves. Tell Mr President that since he can not come to Benue to sympathize with us, he should forget the idea of coming here for campaigns by 2019”
REV FR SOLOMON MFA:
“First I want to appreciate the president for sending you to Benue. I have been a priest in the most affected local government for 13 years, I have also been severally attacked myself. The president has made several intelligent appointments but who are those heading the security agencies, (the Fulanis ). When Yusuf Buhari, son to our president had an accident, our president was devastated, here in Benue our ‘Yusufs’ have been slaughtered.”
HRM ZAKI PROF JAMES AYATSE ( Tor Tiv 5th):
“I want to welcome you to our state. On the controversy about your stop over at Nasarawa, I want to believe that your stop over was to commune with the Tiv people over there.
I am happy you deployed troops to Benue but we are keenly waiting to see the nature of instructions that will be handed to the troops.
Benue people are not interested in self defence, we are law abiding. We are promising to cooperate with you, we will however wait to see your modus operandi. It’s not difficult to detect a genuine project.
Be informed that in our silence we also have a God that can rise up and defend us.”