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Benue Massacre: Sack IGP Now - Southern Leaders Tells Pres. Buhari | CNR

President Mohammadu Buhari in handshake with IGP Ibrahim Idris
Leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum, SMB has demanded President Mohammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris for his failure to stop incessant attacks and killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue state.

Separate attacks by Fulani herdsmen on some communities in Benue state, north central Nigeria on 2nd and 3rd January 2018 have left of over 50 persons dead. The State governor, Samuel Ortom is said to be planning a mass burial for those who died in the state when Fulani herdsmen attack communities after dispute over grazing right.

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The Southern and Middle Belt leaders akillingsged President Buhari to address the nation on the ugly incidents and reassure the citizens that government had not relinquish its primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties.

The call is part of a 6-point demand contained in a statement yesterday January 8, 2018 titled "Stop the Benue Carnage and let Justice flow!" and jointly signed by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), Prof Chigozie Ogbu (South East) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (North Central).

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The group also called on the National Assembly to cut short its ongoing recess to address what they described as matter of "national emergency".

The group said: "We call on all statesmen and leaders across the country to speak up on this national disaster as silence in sinful.

They demanded removal of the IGP following his remark after a meeting with President Buhari where the IGP was reported to have said that the killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue was occasioned by communal clash and that the armed herdsmen are Nigerians.

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The statement said: "Southern and Middle Belt leaders are appalled by the level of killings that have gone on Benue State in the last few days and seeming official indifference in condemning and going after the perpetrators of the deadly crimes.

"We have seen images of horror and wanton killings perpetrated by killer herdsmen who went on a killing spree and are now granting press conference justifying why they carried out such a barbaric act.

"We are further embarrassed that the Inspector General of Police who ordinarily should have gone after these criminal, has been making excuses for the murderers; against the call of his duty.

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"The IGP after meeting with President Buhari at the Villa, last Friday, made highly insensitive remarks: "Obviously it is communal crisis; herdsmen are part of the community. They are Nigerians and part of the community. Are they not?", the SMB leaders recalled.

"We consider the above remarks highly unbecoming of the no 1 cop in Nigeria who should enforce the law against murderers. And it has shown clearly what the lopsided appointments to security forces can cause.

While reiterating its position that leadership of security apparatus in a multi-ethnic society like Nigerians must reflect the country diversify of people, religion and other pluralities, the Forum noted that even more worrisome is the deafening silence of the Presidency.

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"A multi-ethnic society require a reflection of its pluralities in the leadership of its security apparatus so that the type of balance required can be provided at all times. We must also express our reservations about the deafening silence of the President about these killings; as we are yet to hear a word from him over these cold-blooded murders, which many have seen as reprisals over the outlawing of open-grazing of cattle in Benue State", the Forum noted.

"These killings threaten the fragile unity of this country and the official handling of the fall-outs is proving worse than the very sinister act itself.

They noted that as things stand currently, "the confidence of most sections of the country in the willingness of the Federal Government is badly shaken as the authority of the central government appears largely compromised", the SMB forum said.

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