A Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Christian Ezeh Cmf has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to order Fulani herdsmen to vacate Benue State communities and other areas they forcefully occupied after sacking the natives, if he (the president) is serious about restoring peace in the state and other parts of the North.
Fr. Ezeh gave the challenge in his sermon during Mass for Knights of St. Mulumba, Sancta Maria Sub-Council, Owerri July 17.
The priest noted that the major cause of agitation and restiveness in various part of Nigeria, especially in the Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria are injustice and the activities of Fulani herdsmen and expressed dismay at the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government in tackling the menace.
Fr. Ezeh who is the Chaplain of the Sub-Council observed that Benue people have been killed in their hundreds by herdsmen while thousands have been living as refugees in their own land for several years.
The priest observed that the menace of the Fulani militia and other bandits is spreading to other states, like wildfire, especially in the North Central where several people have either been killed or kidnapped for ransom in recent time.
There have been sustained attacks on Benue State by Fulani militia since 2017 leading to the death of nearly 300,000 natives and displacement of one million people scattered in several Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps.
Benue people interpret the killings, displacement and land grabbing as part of a larger ethnic cleansing agenda against the natives.
President Buhari instead of calling the Fulani herdsmen to order would rather urge the Benue people, the victims, to “exercise restraint and learn to live in peace with one another.”
In other words, Benue people and other communities facing similar attacks should learn to live in peace with their killers.