The Coalition of Southern and Middle Belt Youth Leaders Assembly, COSMBYLA, the umbrella body of all the youth groups in the South East, South South, South West and Middle Belt region has condemned in strongest terms the alleged assassination of a senior inspector of taxes working with the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Sixtus Terfa Akure, by the Nigerian Army in Benue state.
According to a statement signed by Goodluck Ibem, President General, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), Terrence Kuanum Coordinator, Forum of Middle Belt Youth Presidents, Shittu Waheed Coordinator, South West Youth Leaders Forum (SWYLF) and Tito ZokumorPresident South South Youth Forum (SSYF), his assassination was “barbaric, wicked”.
The statement said, “The assassination of Benue indigenes by the military which has become a regular occurrence in recent times which seems as a calculated attempt to distract Governor Samuel Ortom who is endeared to his people via his unprecedented and uncommon performance from delivering more democracy dividends to the good people of Benue state.
“The state has over 1.7 million people in the state IDP camps and the renewed assassination and attacks by the military is to instill fear and panic which will lead to increase in the number of IDPs in the States. But their mission is dead on arrival.
“We are aware that the sparks of assassination by the military is a calculated attempt to make the State ungovernable for the performing and dynamic governor of Benue state Dr. Samuel Ortom.
“The entire scenario looks like a plot to complete the extermination of Benue indigenes starting from Benue professionals,, a mission the fulani herdsmen delayed in completing.
“The assassination of Sixtus Terfa is a clear confirmation that the military has arrogated to itself the power to decide who lives and who dies in a supposed democratic setting.
“The last time we checked in the Nigerian constitution, there is no were it is written that the military has the powers to assassinate armless innocent citizens.
“We call on the international community to come to the aid of Benue State and other Nigerians who are on the verge of being exterminated by the Nigerian army that is are supposed to protect them.”
While demanding that no stone should be left unturned in getting to the root of this assassinations, the statement added, “The perpetrators must be brought to justice no matter how highly placed.”