While many countries in the world were rejoicing and thanking God for bringing them to a brand new year of 2018, Nigerians, and in particular, the people of Benue State, were seventy three of their loved ones, men, women and children, who were dispatched to their untimely death by criminals parading as Fulani herdsmen. Nigerians rose in unity in condemnation of that dastardly act and called on the federal government to rise to the challenge and bring the perpetrators to book.
It several knocks both by the print and the social media on the federal government before they could react to such barbaric act. And when they began to react, it was on the negative side.
First, the Inspector General of Police whose responsibility was to ensure internal security, described the Benue massacre as “mere communal clashes”. And when many people were calling on the federal government to send soldiers to Benue to stem the tide of killings there, he said there was no need because the police were equal to the task.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, also said that the Federal Government would not send soldiers to Benue because soldiers were not involved in internal security.
Till date nobody has told us the number of arrests made in connection with those killings and whether they have been changed to court. All they were able to tell us was that they had in their net people who could not speak any of the Nigerian languages, which made to conclude that those who killed people in Benue State were not Nigerians, “Islamic State network” operating in some West African countries.
And add salt to injury one of the Ministers of the Federal Government came out in the open to blame the killing of innocent Nigerians on the anti grazing law instituted by the Benue State government. Till date that Minister is yet to tender public apology for that shameless speech.
Just a few days ago, it was reported in the Medusa that seven Fulani men traveling to Adamawa State were burnt to death by some unidentified youth in Gboko, Benue State.
Pronto. The Federal Government moved in immediately, despatched soldiers to Benue State, and no longer the police, who got several people arrested and clamped in detention.
While one will, in all honesty, never justify any reprisal attack in any form or shape, and particularly the killing of innocent travellers, our questions now are:
Why the double standard? Why wouldn’t the police be left to continue grappling with the situation? Why the prompt despatch of soldiers to Benue State? Why involve soldiers in internal security? Are the seven Fulani travellers killed in Gboko much more superior to the seventy three Benue people killed earlier in the year by the Fulani herdsmen?
Indeed, the Federal Government needs to provide more explanations.
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