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Benue Residents Protest Killings

The residents accused Benue government of not implementing the Anti-Open Grazing Law



Benue Residents Protest Killings

Residents of the Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State have taken to the streets to protest the killings going on in the area, News About Nigeria reports.

The residents took to the streets on Tuesday to seek the government’s intervention in the killing of 26 people in three communities in the council area by suspected herdsmen.

While speaking, the Local Government Area Chairman, Henry Agba, noted that the attack commenced on Saturday last week and lasted until Monday, leading to the deaths of 26 people, including six personnel of Benue State Community Volunteer Guards and Livestock Guards.

The residents accused the state government of not implementing the Anti-Open Grazing Law, maintaining that the herdsmen were responsible for the deaths of the members of two communities.

The protesters blocked the Makurdi-Naka road, carrying several placards with different inscriptions, and called on the federal and state governments to protect the people against armed herders.

Recall that on March 6, the Deputy Governor, Sam Ode, announced the full enforcement of the anti-open grazing law after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given to armed herders and those grazing openly in the state to vacate.

The people, however, maintained that if the government had implemented the law, the deaths would not have occurred.

One of the protesters, a former local government chairman of Gwer West, Francis Ayagah, while speaking to newsmen, called on the federal government to ensure the safety of his people.

“The renewed insecurity in the area was a result of the failure of Governor Hyacinth Alia’s administration to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State, which allows herders to move freely with their cows and arms, which are used to attack the people,” he stated.