A group, Tiv Youth Organization, TYO, has alleged that a former governor of Benue State, George Akume, has given murderous herdsmen reasons to further attack the state.
TYO was reacting to a statement credited to the Benue senator that people of the state were the ones killing themselves and not herdsmen.
The group warned that Akume would be held accountable if any attack by herdsmen was recorded in the state.
In a statement signed by the President of the group, Timothy Hembaor, TYO stressed that Akume should publicly apologize to the people of the state.
The statement reads: “Yesterday, during the presentation of the Amnesty International’s report on herders and farmers crises in Nigeria titled “Harvest of Death”, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Engr Saleh Alhassan cited the statement of APC leader in Benue State, Senator George Akume as confirmation that the people of the state are the ones killing themselves and not Fulani herdsmen.
“Salleh stated thus, “Senator Akume has told the whole world that it was Governor Ortom that recruited those that are responsible for the killings in the Benue Valley”
“The Miyetti Allah spokesman made this mockery of a statement in the presence of Ambassadors of several European countries and diplomats from other parts of the world.
“We are deeply worried by this development because Senator Akume has given Miyetti Allah groups a reason to sponsor more gory attacks on innocent Benue communities. Now, the terrorists have an alibi to hide under and send their armed militia to spill more blood in Benue State, no thanks to the political and ill-motivated comments of Senator Akume.
“We are still shocked that the Senator is yet to publicly apologize to the state despite the wide condemnations that followed his shameful statement. Even if Akume was on drugs or the highest level of alcohol intake when he made that reckless and infamous statement, he must have returned to his normal senses now with more than two weeks already gone.
“Amnesty International reported that 3,641 lives have been lost to herdsmen attacks on farming communities and Benue is the worst hit suffering 726 deaths in three years, with 57% of the killings recorded in 2018. We must add that out of the 726 deaths, 70% of the lives lost are from Akume’s senatorial district.
“These are statistics that should ordinarily disturb the conscience even of a sadist. What does George Akume hope to achieve with the betrayal of his people? Does politics not have a place for humanity?
“This is one senator who has no single project to show for his 12-year stay in the Senate and is not known for moving any motion in that entire period. And now, the only time his people heard his voice was to blame them for killing their loved ones. No insult will be worse than this!
“Less than 24 hours after Amnesty International presented its report, news came that the military (remember Senator Akume heads the Senate Committee on Army) has rejected the report and is pushing for the closure of the offices of the rights group in Nigeria, accusing the group of plotting to destabilize the country.
“We once again condemn Senator Akume’s comments and demand a public apology from him to Benue people.
“We have now seen the ugly faces of the traitors among us. We now know that Senator Akume is one of those conspiring with terror groups like Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to sustain the mindless bloodletting in Benue State.
“We strongly rebuff the twist of the narrative by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who have capitalized on Akume’s unguarded utterances to blame our people. The whole world knows that their armed militia groups are responsible for the killings in Benue State, and no amount of twist at this time can change the truth.
“We commend Amnesty International for standing by the truth and demonstrating professionalism and impartiality in its report on the unfortunate killings.
“Finally, we urge security authorities to give the statement of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore the seriousness it deserves. This is the same way they rejected the state Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law and threatened to attack the state and made real their threats, earlier this year.
“If any herdsmen attack take place in Benue from now going forward, Senator Akume and his Miyetti Allah partners should be held accountable.”