The three Socio-Cultural organisation in Benue State comprising of Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’idoma And Omi Ny’igede have alleged that the former of Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanisu and other norther elites should be held responsible for the killings in Benue state.
The further called on the international communities to place the deposed Emir on the terrorist’s watch list base following is utterances in Nasarawa state.
In a statement signed and released President General, Mdzough U Tiv and Chairman of the three Sociocultural Groups in Benue State, Chief CP, Iorbee Ihagh rtd, President General, Ochetoha K’Idoma, AVM Tony Adokwu rtd, and President, Omi Ny’Igede, Dr Comrade Ben Okpa, said: “we call on the security agencies to arrest, question and subsequently hold Sanusi and his cohorts responsible for the reprisal attacks that have already taken place as well as any further attacks on the people of Benue State.”
The statement reads below
“Recently, we read with a sense of repugnance, the statement by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over the air strike carried out by the military on some terrorists’ Fulani militia targets in Akwanaja, Doma Local Government Area, LGA of Nasarawa State.
“Sanusi, the deposed Emir of Kano twisted the facts in the matter when he alleged that the attack on the terrorists was carried out by the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom and/or by extension, the Benue State Livestock Guards and the State Volunteer Guards.
“In a document, which was signed by Sanusi, 51 others and forwarded to the Presidency, the former CBN Governor alleged that the Benue State Governor masterminded the killings.
“Even though, the military has claimed responsibility for the air strike that killed the terrorists, Sanusi and his cohorts are hell-bent on making the allegations on the Governor stick, this amounts to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
“More disturbing is that Sanusi and his comrades in crime are doing everything possible to make the whole world believe that the persons that were killed during the military operation were harmless nomads, whereas they were terrorists who were targeted and killed during one of their meetings, when they met with the aim of launching further attacks on innocent people in Benue communities, bordering Nasarawa State.
“We have also identified the desperate attempt by Sanusi and his band of supporters to give the attack on the terrorists an ethnic coloration, thereby setting Benue State up against the armed herdsmen invasion.
“Otherwise, how would someone like Sanusi place the cost of one cow at N1 million, if it is not in a desperate attempt to cause disaffection, pick a fight and get a reason to attack Benue communities.
“The grand conspiracy by Sanusi and his ‘partners’ may have also began to work out in their favour, with the annihilation of peasant farmers from their communities on both divides, through reprisals, since Sanusi and his company levelled the false allegations against Governor Ortom.
“Also, after carrying out several reprisal attacks on Tiv communities, both in Benue and Nasarawa States, the terrorists are now gathering at the border between Benue and Nasarawa, preparatory to launch further attacks on unsuspecting communities in Benue state.
“So, we want to state unequivocally and with emphasis that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and his co-travelers are the sponsors and by extension, the killers of the people of Benue State.
“The Federal Government, FG has always said it was on the verge of releasing the names of sponsors of terrorism in the country and we are making it clear that the FG does not have to look any further, because it is our firm belief that Sanusi is one of the sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria.
“Therefore, we call on the security agencies to arrest, question and subsequently hold Sanusi and his cohorts responsible for the reprisal attacks that have already taken place as well as any further attacks on the people of Benue State.
“We state this without mincing words because for the former Governor of the CBN to set Governor Ortom up for hatred and declare him as an enemy of the Fulani race is a deliberate attempt to incite and stir up strife, which is an offense punishable by law.
“Therefore, we call on the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari to take deliberate and decisive steps to stop this ethnic cleansing, orchestrated and sponsored by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and his co-travelers.
“We also appeal to the C-in-C to place the military in the area on red alert, give them the matching order and beef up security at the border towns surrounding Benue State to forestall further reprisals, which may lead to breakdown of law and order.
“Our groups, made up of the three major tribal groups in Benue State; the Tiv, Idoma and Igede also call on the military, particularly, Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS to ensure that it nips in the bud the planned attacks by these armed militia herdsmen on Benue communities.
“Furthermore, we call on the International Community to place Sanusi on the terrorists’ watch list, keep a close tab on his activities; the activities of his collaborators and the armed militia herdsmen and hold them accountable for their actions.”