Benue State Buries 73 Killed By Fulani Herdsmen

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The incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen has been condemned by Nigerians who are demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari arrest and prosecute the herdsmen involved in the killings as well as pronounce herdsmen as a terrorist group. Even as governor, most times, I am not with my phone; people can not access me the way it used to be, talk less of a President.

Benue had brought into effect an anti-open grazing law on November 1, 2017, which ignited protests from local herdsmen.

The law was the state's response to repeated attacks against residents, including the February 2016 massacre of over 500 villagers in Agatu.

Following the New Year's attacks that claimed at least 50 lives, on January 5-6 Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed at least 15 Christians in the predominantly Christian Logo area's Tombu and other villages, sources said.

On Nov. 26, 2017, over 500 people were missing following a suspected herdsmen attack on a Tiv community in the state.

He said, "On the Global Terrorism Index, Fulani militant group (herdsmen) operating in Nigeria and parts of the Central African Republic is the fourth deadliest known terrorist group".

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Mr Onoja, who was at the funeral, said 73 people were being buried.

The protest reportedly turned violent with three people losing their lives and many injured. "It's not a random arrest; it's specific arrest", he added.

"All this is nothing but diversionary tactics to allow these herdsmen to decimate Benue communities and leave through the Taraba border to Cameroon back to their hideout". But despite their notoriety and tendency to inflict mayhem wherever they go, it is very rare to hear of a Fulani herdsman being made to face the law for their atrocious acts, giving the impression that they are a special people, operating above the law.

A civil society organization and a pro-democracy body - HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the continued suppression and killing by armed security forces of civil protesters belonging to the minority Islamic movement of Nigeria (Shiite) who are campaigning for freedom for their unjustly incarcerated leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife.

Fighting has been particularly heavy in Benue state, where 80 people have been killed and 80,000 displaced.

"All this could fuel suspicion that there's a collision between the federal government and the militia". At a moment when people were thanking God for sparing their lives to see the advent of a new year, they least expected that death would come calling in the manner that it did.