Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos has condemned in strong terms the recent killing of over 75 innocent villagers in parts of Benue and Adamawa States, describing such as a national calamity that should be treated as acts of terrorism.

Archbishop Martins while commiserating with the family members and relations of the deceased described as most unfortunate and regrettable the failure of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively protect the lives and properties of its citizens from the hands of the marauders.

The visibly concerned clergy man wondered why the Federal government incessantly failed to arrest the perpetrators and sponsors  of the heinous crimes.” We often see people who openly come out in the media to justify the callous actions of the criminals while issuing threats that the killing would continue even as they deny knowing those who are responsible. Such inaction by the authorities,” he warned, “was capable of sending the wrong signal to the masses that the marauding herdsmen are indeed above the law of the nation.”

“while we acknowledge the efforts being made to beef up security in the affected places at this time, we cannot but say that it has come too late for those who have already been killed and those who have been maimed and inflicted with life-changing injuries. The Federal Government owes the nation the responsibility to ensure peace and equal attention to threats to peace across board. For instance, the failure to deploy the military to the affected areas to protect the people and flush out the perpetrators in spite of the various letters purportedly forwarded to the Presidency  by Governor Ortom of Benue State, gives one the impression that the matter was not given the serious attention that it deserved as was done in Niger Delta and the North East. Like many others, I feel strongly that the barbaric actions of the gun totting herdsmen and similar groups like them should be likened to acts of terrorism and  should  be  so designated. We would like to have a clear idea of what it means to create cattle colonies in the various states in order to know about the proposed  lasting solution to these killings.”

While urging the Federal Government to urgently call an all-stakeholders meeting in Abuja to seriously appraise the root cause of the conflicts and find amicable solutions to them, the clergyman reminded them that cattle rearing was a private business enterprise which should be subject to similar laws guiding business enterprises across the country.

“If the cost of doing the business in a sustainable way is too high for individual cattle owners, then banks should be given the mandate to provide loans at favourable terms in the same way as they provide for poultry farmers, for example.


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