Benue residents protest against invasion of farmlands, attacks by herdsmen
• Group submits bill to Assembly
Commuters on major streets in Makurdi, the Benue State capital yesterday experienced hectic situation as members of a group, Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO) of Benue Communities, stage a peaceful protest around the city blocking strategic routes.
The protest, which started at 7.30am saw participants marching through major roads up to the Benue State House of Assembly Complex and ended at the Benue People’s House.
The protesters carried placards bearing inscriptions such as: Fulani Go Home, Benue Has No Grazing Land; Stop Killing Our Children and Our Parents; Grazing and Farming Cannot Go Together; Federal Government Protect Our Fundamental Lives in Benue; Benue Farmers Want Peace etc.
Addressing the people at Wurukum roundabout, Rev. Pastor David Ogbole said the Movement Against Fulani Occupation is a non-political but civil organisation seeking appropriate reaction from the Federal Government to stop the killings, maiming of women and destruction of farms and property by herdsmen.
He expressed displeasure that even as the raining season has set in, the people cannot go to their farms to start planting, as their lands are being occupied by herders.
At the state Assembly, the group submitted a private bill to stop further killings by the Fulani and called on people in the state to boycott eating of cow meat and go consume other delicacies like goat, fish, bush meat as a measure to cripple the finances of the marauders and prevent them from acquiring arms.
The spokeperson of MAFO, Rev. Father Solomon Ukeyima, said the people are in pain and called for the support of the Assembly to pass the bill into law so as to stop the killings and attacks on communities in the state.
Addressing the protesters at the Assembly complex, House members, Avine Agbum and Bem Mngutyo, commended MAFO for the peaceful demonstration and assured that the bill will be speedily passed into law to stop the crises.
Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, lauded the action of the group, saying it is in line with democratic principles.
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