The Idoma National Forum (INF) has called on the Federal Government to halt the bloodletting in Benue State and other troubled spots in the country. INF in a statement signed by its president, Mr. Adoya Amali, made available to The Guardian at the weekend, said over 2,000 Benue indigenes have been murdered, adding that the recent killing of Catholic priests and parishioners is beyond herders and farmers clash.
The statement read: “We have been under siege for years by armed herdsmen leading to the killing of over 2,000 of our brothers, sisters and children, but the new dimension of the Boko Haram-type of terrorists attacks that has just been introduced into the conflict, where they attacked St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Gwer East Local Government Area and killed two reverend fathers and 17 other parishioners last week, followed closely by the attack on the African Church in Logo LGA, all within a week, has clearly gone beyond herdsmen, farmers’ crisis and we condemn it in its entirety. We raise our collective voices against terrorist attacks on our land and it must be stopped before it blossoms into a full-fledged conflagration.”
They also called on rights groups and international organizations to come to the aid of the state. “The rationale for the withdrawal of the military personnel deployed to Benue on peace-keeping exercise is suspicious. Is it that the situation has been brought under control or to pave ways for more attacks? We are calling on all human rights organizations in the country, the United Nations, ECOWAS and others to come to our aid, otherwise we will be left with no option than to heed the call by our elder stateman to resort to self-defense”.