Benue youths on Wednesday protested the killing of residents of Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the State by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Twenty people were reportedly killed and 30 others were injured in the attacks.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who yesterday described the killings by suspected herdsmen as reprehensible, ordered that the perpetrators be brought to book.
In a statement by his Media Adviser Garba Shehu, the President said he was saddened by the “wicked and callous” attacks on innocent people and children.
He assured Governor Samuel Ortom and Benue people that security agencies had been directed to arrest the killers.
He said: ”This is one attack too many; and everything must be done to provide security for the people in our rural communities.”
President Buhari also commiserated with the families of the victims and wished the injured speedy healing.
The protesters on Makurdi streets carried placards bearing inscriptions, such as “presidential intervention needed” and “stop this incessant bloodbath”.
Some of the protesters, who were screaming, said the Federal Government should intervene and stop the madness.
The protesters, mostly youths, barricaded most of the routes leading in and out of the state.
The protest, started by National Union of Benue State Students (NUBESS), began with a peaceful procession from the second gate of the Benue State University, Makurdi.
When it got to Wurukum roundabout, some hoodlums hijacked it
They made bonfire and prevented vehicles from passing through the major roads.
There was traffic gridlock in Makurdi for almost 12 hours.
The leader of the protesters, Mr Angu Orngu, told The Nation that they were marching against the killings of Tiv farmers by those they called Fulani herdsmen.
They vowed to remain on the streets until the arrest of the killers.
Ortom was prevented from addressing the protesters. Security aides whisked him away as the protesters became unruly when he tried to speak to them.
The governor has vowed to continue to implement the anti open grazing law in spite of resistance.
Mr Terhemen Anum told NAN that following the killings, “no one has spoken from high places”.
Another resident, Ruth Agba, said there was evidence that the gunmen killed some farmers, burnt down their homes and destroyed their farms, crops.
Agba said the attackers’ mode of operation was not differ from Boko Haram terrorists.
The attack is the first this year. In 2017, over 20 attacks were recorded.