OrderPaperToday – A group known as LeadBenue has called on the Federal Government to immediately declare the rampaging herdsmen as a terrorist group in the wake of new year attacks on Guma Local Government Area of Benue state by suspected herdsmen.

The group in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Laz Apir noted that Benue state had become flash points of repeated herdsmen attacks following previous outbreaks of violence recorded in Guma, Logo and Agatu communities of the state that left many dead.

It also criticized the Presidency for being “offensively silent” following the latest attack on communities in Guma.

“It is as regrettable as it remains shocking that Benue people from Guma LGA once again came under unprovoked attacks from armed herdsmen as they went about celebrating the 2018 new year day.

“Given the zero response from any security agency of the federal government, the armed herdsmen returned to attack the helpless people of Uikpam in Guma LGA on the 2nd of January 2018, this time, over 20 human lives were massacred.

“The executive Governor of Benue state personally was at the Benue State University Teaching hospital to see for himself the casualties. DailyTrust newspaper also widely reported news of the attacks on Guma communities by herdsmen.

“It is therefore heart wrenching that no official statement or reaction has been received from the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the unprovoked killing of her citizens.

“Such insensitivity compels us at LEADBenue to wonder if Benue state is no longer part of the nation Nigeria upon which the President governs.”

The group therefore requested an immediate statement from the office of the President, condemning the attacks in totality and also demanded that the security agencies be directed to move to secure attack prone localities in the state.

“This time, we will not let go until perpetrators are arrested, paraded, charged and tried for acts of terrorism,” the statement adds.

Furthermore, the group called on the Governor of Benue state to liaise with traditional rulers in the state to mobilize their subjects to remain vigilant and defend selves against such attacks, stressing that “self defense is lawful.”

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Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank. Also, his writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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