-Stop the mayhem now, Senate tells Buhari
At least, 25 persons were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen who appeared in military uniforms on Wednesday evening, when they invaded Oganenigu community in Dekina and Abejukolo in Omala local government areas of Kogi state.
The Kogi onslaught was similar to the sectarian violence in 2016 that led to the death of four Fulani men and their cattle.
The herdsmen were said to be fleeing from Benue state as a result of the anti-grazing law promulgated by the state government.
It was gathered that the herders came in boats with AK 47 rifles, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons and killed residents and also torched their houses.
An indigene of the community in Omala local government area who identified himself as Malam Umaru Ibrahim, told our reporter that the latest attack “may be to avenge the events of two years ago.
” According to him, the suspected herdsmen in army uniforms, were armed with AK47 rifles, invaded Oganenigu community and opened fi re on residents.
According to him, the herdsmen who were in their hundreds, burnt down over 20 houses in the community and slaughtered residents and shot those who tried to escape.
“As I am giving you this information now, four members of the family of a police officer who is serving in the community were also slaughtered by the herdsmen.
Virtually, everybody had fl ed the community, while many were killed,” he said.
A similar incident was said to have occurred in Iyale community in Dekina local government council, where people were attacked by the herdsmen leaving two dead.
In Omala local government council, the hoodlums invaded Abejukolo community killing three persons.
It was gathered that in Abejukolo, one Joshua Angulu, was slaughtered by the suspected Fulani herdsmen during the attack in presence of his family members.
Meanwhile, there are reports that a new set of Fulani herdsmen/terrorists have crossed into Omala local government area, through the River Benue from Nasarawa state.
They were reportedly camped in the Obakume forest, preparing for attacks on Abejukolo, the local government headquarters, and adjoining villages.
Police confirm attacks At a press briefing in Lokoja yesterday, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Monday Bala, confirmed the attack, saying “we cannot give the actual number of people killed in the attack.
” Bala said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aliyu Janga, had already drafted mobile policemen, antiterrorism squad and military men to the troubled communities to restore law and other.
…Senate wants Buhari to act Worried by the fresh attacks in Kogi, the Senate has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the police and the military to move in to bring the situation under control”.
Accordingly, the upper legislative chamber, while tasking the president to adhere strictly to the oath of protecting lives and property of Nigerians, also called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to arrest the perpetrators of the fresh attacks.
These resolutions were reached sequel to a motion by Senator Atai Ali Aidoko (PDP Kogi East), in which the Senate also charged the National Emergency Management Agency, to send relief materials to displaced victims in the state.
Coming through a point of order, Senator Aidoko in his motion claimed that 20 and 12 people each were killed in Dekina and Omala local government area, 12 in Omala while another five were maimed in the two areas.
The lawmaker said the killings were carried out by Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday.
“This is a violent attack on the people of Oganenugo in Dekina Local Government and Omala Local Government of Kogi state by Fulani herdsmen.
“The Senate notes that on Wednesday 14th March, 2018, no fewer than 20 people were killed in a violent attack on the people of Dekina Local Government and 12 people gruesomely killed in Omala Local Government of Kogi state by Fulani herdsmen.
“The Senate is concerned that despite the widespread condemnation of the killings going on in other parts of the country, the perpetrators of this heinous crimes have not been arrested and persecuted by the Nigerian Police Force.
This has led to the continuation of the killings in the country.
“The Senate is worried that the incessant attack impedes all wellmeaning efforts at peace building,” he said.
Senate leader cautions However, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, cautioned Mr. Aidoko Ali against tagging the killers ‘Fulani herdsmen.
’ “I want to give a perspective just for the guidance of this Senate.
Before we went to Zamfara, the impression I had and possibly all of those of us on the team was that Fulanis were fighting the Hausas.
Or to say in a different way that the farmers were fighting with the herders.
It was totally different.
“Armed bandits were killing both farmers and Fulanis.
We must not allow ourselves to play into the hands of these criminals if we continue to use certain names or nomenclatures, we may be getting some people to sympathise with criminals.
“I will advise that we henceforth look at this people as armed bandits and criminals, if we say Fulani, the most innocent Fulani man will start to think this is against him, and he would sympathise with them and not cooperate with us.
Armed bandits can be anybody whether it is Fulani, Igbo.
” He added that Nigerian security operatives are overstretched hence, their incapability of securing vulnerable areas.
Dino Melaye, (APC Kogi West), charged the federal and state governments to take swift action on the development.
“Kogi is in the news again for the very wrong reason.
The responsibility for the protection of lives and property is the primary prerogative of government at the state and federal level.
Enough of the excuse that our security agencies are overstretched.
“When governors, president, senators took oath of office, we promised to defend the constitution and lives and property of those who voted for us.
There has been gross display and incompetence at the federal and state levels.
Let us for once call Mr. President.
” He also blamed the killings on Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello, with whom he has a feud.
He said an invitation by the governor that Fulani herdsmen “should come and reside in the state allowed the killers the freedom of movement”.
“What we have in Kogi is not news and we expected it when my own governor told the world that anywhere they chase Fulani man away, that Kogi state is open for them to come.
He was the first to say that Kogi should be used as for colony.
If today, we have these criminals capitalising on the verbal diarrhoea of an individual, then automatically we invited those crises.
“Finally, on these killings, Kogi state government has not made any offi cial statement.
Killings of this magnitude, no statement, no sympathy, no visit to the site of the incidence, nothing.
This type of insensitivity to the people of Kogi state is appalling.
Need for security summit At this point, Senator Aliero moved that the resolutions of the security summit recently organised by the National Assembly be implemented.
And responding to this, the Senate leader, Senator Lawan said the report of the summit will be laid next week.
Senator James Manager (PDP Delta South) urged the federal government to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of offenders in order to nip the killings in the bud.