"Benue people sacrificed blood for the unity of this country and will not allow a section of Fulani herdsmen to kill our people in cold blood".
He said that his comments were not made to undermine the pains of the people, rather help engender the sense of unity among Nigerians, inspite of the nationwide insecurity. If the government can't protect us, we will mobilise and train our people into an army to defend us.
The group in an open letter to Governor Ortom, dated January 10, 2018 described as unfortunate a promising year like 2018 which has been cut short for many families through the killings. "I am the spiritual and ancestral leader of the Tiv nation; enough is enough".
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, who is ethnically linked to Fulani herdsmen, has been widely criticized on social media for his perceived silence over the previous attacks.Peter Fayose, one of the governors in the country, tweeted, "I am deeply sad about the killings going on in Benue State".
He, therefore, charged the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and stop state sponsorship of militias from festering as the effect of it would fall on its head, and consequently called on it to deploy the military to the two states to suppress activities of militias. "We can not allow people to colonise us again, we have all it takes to do that", Unongo added. What we found out has been corroborated by the confessions of the members of the (Benue State) Civilian JTF on national television.
He urged sons and daughters of the state to rally round the governor for the successful enforcement of the anti-open grazing law. "Enough of the killings". They further revealed that they were trained by ex-service men and they were brought together from all the localities in Benue State.
He appealed to people living in Benue communities not to take the law into their own hands, but follow the path of peace and reconciliation.
With the day being labeled as a "Black Thursday" for the people of Benue state, many have cried out to the government to seek justice for the deceased.
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"We want an enlightened approach to this matter".
In his funeral oration for victims of herdsmen killings, Avenya prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead and called for prayers for the survivors of the attacks.
In his speech, the paramount ruler of Tiv nation, Prof.
"We must put an end to these killings. They are not even educated enough to understand it", he said in an interview with CNN."We are contesting the law in court", Bodejo added.
He said the herders have failed if the killings were meant to coerce the administration into reversing the law. "I will continue to insist on the arrest of the factional leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Houre".
The Group, however, advised the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, to build synergy and collaboration with neighboring states to ending the herdsmen menace rather than apportioning blames.
"Benue state must similarly be placed under emergency rule since its governor has not only confirmed his lack of capacity to arrest the situation but has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is a core part of the problem", Salawu said.
He explained that the state did not have adequate land for farmers, not to talk of space for grazing.