By George Okoh in Makurdi
Former governor of Sokoto State and likely presidential aspirant, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa has warned on the consequences of the Federal government and other security agencies not putting a stop to the headers, farmers clashes in Benue and other states, saying it may stall 2019 elections.
He stated this when he paid a condolence visit to governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi to commiserate with him and people of the state over the killings of people by herdsmen in the state
He stated that Benue people produced great sons who had foresight that had played active roles to unite the northerners when the entire entire north was faced with so much squabbles.
”Why would there be election in 2019 where there is no peace. The most important thing you can bring to society is peace. When you bring peace to them, then you have brought life and you can talk of election,” Attahiru said
He said that there could be no north without Benue being part and parcel of the north, pointing out that Benue laid the foundation for the building of northern region and their contributions were still speaking volumes.
”Chief Audu Ogbe and Senator Barnabas Gemade got the positions of national chairman of the former ruling People Democratic Party(PDP),because they are from the north and the slot was meant for the northern part of Nigeria. I am not here for political purposes but to console my brother, however I must put the record straight,” he stated.
The former governor noted that the killings in Benue State was politically motivated which needed political approach to solve not by using traditional solutions.
According to him, the issue of herdsmen and farmers clashes across Nigeria was a national problem, stressing that it had gone beyond where people would continue to be throwing blames on either governors or the president.
He said that while it was the duty of Federal government to put serious efforts to restore peace to Benue and parts of the country, president Buhari must involve other stakeholders no matter the political affiliation. He donated N10 million to the victims of the herdsmen attacks in the state.
He said that those herdsmen launching attacks on Benue communities were foreigners and immigrants which Federal government had to come out decisively and fish them out for peace to thrive in Nigeria.
”The original Fulanis in Nigeria who settled and lived among Tiv people can speak Tiv fluently but these immigrants don’t speak Tiv language and don’t know who is who. Therefore, the problem is solvable. What government needs to do is to block these people from coming into the country.
”The local Fulanis l know carry sticks and cracked jokes with everyone, they don’t carry guns,” he stated.
Governor Samuel Ortom in his remark, thanked the former Sokoto governor for the show of solidarity and for coming to proffered a roadmap on how to solve the herdsmen problem.
He said that herdsmen had turned themselves into thin gods and had given themselves immunity because of the action and inaction of government responsible for the protection of lives and property of citizens.
Ortom insisted that the herdsmen and farmers crisis was a national problem that need a national solutions which government at all levels need to give serious attention before it consumes the nation.
”Only yesterday the house belonging to former chief judge of the state, Justice Augustine Utsaha was burnt down and several people killed with properties destroyed in Guma LGA,” Ortom lamented.