MACBAN differs as SEMA says herders killed 5,138 in Benue

The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani socio-cultural organisation, simply known as Miyetti Allah, and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria have described as ‘baseless’ and ‘untrue’ allegations that members of their associations were responsible for the killing of 5,138 Benue citizens under the administration of Governor Samuel Ortom.

This is in a sharp reaction to a Monday statement by the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency and Management Agency, Dr Emmanuel Shior, who stated that suspected herders in the state were responsible for the death of these citizens.

The SEMA boss stated this while addressing journalists in the state capital, Markurdi, on the humanitarian situation in the state since the Ortom-led administration began about eight years ago.

Shior noted that 18 of the 23 local government areas of the state were attacked by suspected armed herders, adding that the number killed so far since 2015 was  5,138.

According to him, 1,177 deaths were recorded in 2015; 809 deaths in 2016; 43 in 2017; and 440 persons were reportedly killed in 2018.

Shior further stated that the state recorded 174 deaths in 2019; 88 in 2020; 2,131 in 2021; 172 in 2022; and from January 2023 till date, 104 deaths had been recorded.

The SEMA boss regretted that there had been renewed attacks in some local government areas of the state shortly after the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Reacting, the General Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Mr Saleh Alhassan, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the accusation by SEMA was ‘baseless and politically-motivated’, adding that the association was waiting for Ortom to finish his tenure so he would be dragged before the International Criminal Court, Hague, for ‘genocide’.

“The government of Samuel Ortom is the ones killing us (herders). We have a record of our members being killed by killer cops in Benue. Now that the government is coming to an end, it wants to begin to blame innocent herders for its incompetence. It won’t work.

“The herdsmen he (Shior) is talking about are a figment of his imagination. Are herders killers? Those herdsmen are the ones that will escort him to his political doldrums.

Also speaking, the National President of MACBAN, Baba Ngelzarma, noted that the number of its members killed by the Benue government would also be released soon.

“We have the number of herdsmen killed by the (Benue) government in the years under review. We know how many people the crisis consumed, and will furnish the public with the figures soon,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button