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SS-ICT4D Week 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Benue: Herdsmen attack is terrorism - Archbishop Martins

ITREALMS:
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace Most Rev Dr Alfred Adewale Martins has condemned in strong terms the recent killing of over 75 innocent villagers in parts of Benue and Adamawa States, describing it as an act of terrorism, reports ITRealms.

Archbishop Martins while commiserating with the family members and relations of the deceased said the attack is a national calamity that must be seen as an act of terrorism.

He also described as most unfortunate and regrettable the failure of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively protect the lives and properties of the citizens from the hands of the marauders.

The visibly angry clergy man wondered why the FG incessantly failed to arrest the perpetrators and sponsors of the heinous crimes. 

"We often see people who openly come out in the media to justify the callous actions of the criminals while issuing threats that the killing would continue even as they deny knowing those who are responsible," he decried.

Pointing out that such inaction by the authorities was capable of sending the wrong signal to the masses that the marauding herdsmen are indeed above the law of the nation.

“While we acknowledge the efforts being made to beef up security in the affected places at this time, we cannot but say that it has come too late for those who have already been killed and those who have been maimed and inflicted with life-changing injuries," Martins said.

The Federal Government, he said, owes the nation the responsibility to ensure peace and equal attention to threats to peace across board. For instance, the failure to deploy the military to the affected areas to protect the people and flush out the perpetrators in spite of the various letters purportedly forwarded to the Presidency  by Governor Ortom of Benue State, gives one the impression that the matter was not given the serious attention that it deserved as was done in Niger Delta and the North East. Like many others, I feel strongly that the barbaric actions of the gun totting herdsmen and similar groups like them should be likened to acts of terrorism and should be so designated. We would like to have a clear idea of what it means to create cattle colonies in the various states in order to know about the proposed  lasting solution to these killings.”

While urging the Federal Government to urgently call an all-stakeholders meeting in Abuja to seriously appraise the root cause of the conflicts and find amicable solutions to them, insisting that cattle rearing remain a private  enterprise which  should be subject to similar laws guiding business enterprises across the country. 

“If the cost of doing the business in a sustainable way is too high for individual cattle owners, then banks should be given the mandate to provide loans at favourable terms in the same way as they provide for poultry farmers, for example.

Archbishop Martins went on to pray God to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest, healing to the wounded and consolation to those who mourn.

Uj. N. Dominic/ ED, ops
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