Nasarawa killing: MBF cautions Sule, Sanusi on reprisals

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The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has called on Nasarawa state governor, Abdullahi Sule and deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to tread  with caution on their comments over reported killing of at least 37 herdsmen in Rukubi community of Doma local government area of Nasarawa state, Wednesday, January 26, 2023.

The Forum, in a press statement by its national president, Dr Pogu Bitrus, Sunday, stated that “since the incident, there have been conflicting reports on what actually transpired. Governor Abdullahi Audu Sule of Nasarawa declared on Thursday, January 26, that the herdsmen were killed through what looked like a drone attack. The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said since the military was the only authority to deploy drone attack, the Federal Government should wade into the matter  to bring the culprits to book.

“We are aware that the Nigerian Air Force undertook an operation against terrorist targets in areas bordering Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba in the same period. Also, there was no report of cattle casualties mentioned in any of the reports in spite of the claim that the victims are Fulani, who just redeemed their cattle from the Benue state government.

“Amidst the confusion that have trailed these killings, the deposed emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently added fuel to the raging inferno when he accused the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom as the architect of the killings.

“In what was seen as reprisal attacks, militant herdsmen mounted attacks on Benue communities bordering Nasarawa, shortly after Governor Sule announced the killings without any shred of evidence to prove his claim.

“On Thursday last week, Governor Ortom informed Nigerians that there were premeditated plots by some highly-placed persons to assassinate him over the recent killings of herdsmen in Nasarawa state. He cautioned against inflammatory statements over security matters, stressing that Benue State is not involved in the alleged killings.

“As the umbrella body of ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt, the Forum is at a loss why the Nasarawa governor would just allege such a grievous crime without any proof to buttress his claim. While the MBF is opposed to any form of extra-judicial killing, we are shocked at the statement by the Kano deposed emir attempting to rope Dr Ortom on an issue that he (Sanusi) is not competent to speak on. 

“He should allow the security agencies to do their jobs and stop fueling crises where there is none. It becomes contemptible when those who are expected to moderate their views before members of the public and promote the peaceful co-existence of communities are the same people inflaming passion in a bid to enthrone chaos and anarchy in the country.”   

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