Benue lawyers under the aegis of the Association of Lawyers from Conflict Zones, have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to urge the Benue state government under Dr Samuel Ortom to put an immediate end to the invasion of Ukpute community in Oju local government of Benue state by the Bonta militia and their collaborators by deploying security personnel to the conflict area.
The group in a press statement by Barrister John Owulo and issued to Blueprint ,Thursday, said such initiative will minimise further loss of lives, destruction of property and mass suffering of the displaced, especially women and children.
“It will also send the needed signal to the militia, who are acting with impunity by repeatedly frustrating government’s effort at restoring peace through boundary demarcation and seem to be getting away with it.
“Government’s silence in the face of serial violations of its instructions, initiatives and the on-going fighting has potential for misreading or other conclusion.
“We believe a robust security presence in the conflict area will not only bring to an end the unfolding tragedy but wiĺl serve as a deterrent to trouble makers or violators of peace agreements, the lawyers stated.
They said, given the frequency and scope of destruction of this conflict, “we similarly urge the Benue state government to as a matter of urgency, put in place ways, means and processes that could lead to the establishment of a permanent security post between Ukpute and Bonta communities.
Renewed fighting broke out on Monday, June 14, 2021 when the regrouped Bonta militia, apparently not satisfied with the terms and conditions of peace brokered by the state government, invaded Ukpute.