On January 3, 2017, while sons and daughters of Okpale-Ogege Community, in Edumoga, Okpokwu LGA of Benue State went to their farms to resume agricultural activities for 2017 having celebrated the new year in peace, a group of suspected Fulani herdsmen struck, killing many villagers who had gone out to stop them from grazing in their farmlands.
The attack by the herdsmen indeed threw the peaceful atmosphere into pandemonium as villagers were forced to flee their homes for fear of being killed.
We are shocked that despite the cry over the terroristic act perpetrated by these herdsmen on the entire people of Benue state, the government at the federal and state level has continued to turn a blind eye.
We are worried that this renewed attack on Okpokwu Local Government, one of the earliest local governments in Idoma land is another calculated attempt by the herdsmen to replicate the Agatu Massacre in Okpale-Ogege and must be checked.
We condemn this renewed attack on our people and we caution against any act of negligence by the government which might result to the people taking laws into their own hands to protect their community and the entire state should they continue to look the other way.
This attacks if not abated in 2017 may lead to crises, which will affect the peace, stability and the socioeconomic development of the entire state and Nigeria in general.
We call on the federal government and Benue state government to sit up to their responsibility and nip to bud this monster that is raising its head again in 2017. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the lives and properties of her citizens and the people of Benue state must enjoy this privilege.
We urge the people of Benue state to be vigilant at all times.