Editorial

That Murder of Benue IDPs

LAST Monday, the camp accommodating Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), located at Abagena, about four kilometers from Makurdi metropolis was attacked by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen. Seven persons were killed and several others severely wounded in the night raid.

THIS shocking incident, which came on the heels of other killings in the state in the preceding few weeks, expectedly received widespread condemnations among Nigerians.

ANGERED by the attack, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, while addressing the IDPs who blocked the Makurdi-Lafia road with corpses of the dead during their protest last Tuesday, accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of not doing enough to protect his people from killer herdsmen.

REACTING to the Governor’s accusation, the President in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, expressed his “disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom make a litany of accusations against his person and his government following the recent unfortunate incident in the state.”

WHILE expressing condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the recent spate of killings in Benue State, he defended his government by stating that “no responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of the innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp.”

BUT a close look at the press statement does not reveal any course of action the Federal Government intends to take to bring under control, the increasing level of insecurity in the country. This lacuna in the statement is capable of leaving the citizenry with the impression that there is no immediate hope that government is ready to solve the security problems plaguing the nation.

THE Voice notes that a situation where the President finds it just convenient to counter-accuse his accuser (s), defend his government and leave Nigerians with no clue of how he intends to solve the nation’s security problems is capable of rendering the citizenry hopeless.

THE Voice therefore calls on the Federal Government to show more seriousness in the fight against insecurity, and to engage in honest collaborative partnerships with state governments and other stakeholders in the Nigeria project to ensure the country becomes safer.

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