…..We have to defend ourselves – Benue Youth
…..Onaiyekan calls for divine intervention
After the mass burial of the massacre in Benue by the suspected Fulani herdsmen, Makurdi the state capital boils again with clash between the Hausa community and some youth.
The clash which started Saturday morning at about 9.35am between the Hausa community and some youth at the Wadata area of the state raised mayhem in the yet mourning city.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that the violence started after a Fulani man was hit and killed by a vehicle.
“Earlier this morning (Saturday) yesterday, a Fulani man was hit by a vehicle at the Wurukum area of the town, shortly after, hundreds of Hausa community in the town besieged the area and other parts of the city with weapons and the whole city turned upside down”.
There are high concentrations of Hausa community in the Wadata and Wurukum areas of the city as the main abattoir is located in Wadata.
Markets and Shops were closed paralyzing business of the day as a result of the violence while cars were vandalized by the irate youth.
One of the youth scouring for weapon told our correspondent in Makurdi at the scene that: “We have to defend ourselves”.
Following the mass burial of the January 1st killings by so called herdsmen, there has been increased tension between the Hausa communities and the Locals in the state.
The state governor, Samuel Ortom announced a dusk to dawn curfew on the state capital after a meeting of the state Executive council following the crisis of the day.
The curfew is expected to last from 6pm to 6am and will be in force until government deems it fit to be lifted.
Ortom said the curfew is to check the activities of criminals that may want to use the current security challenges to cause trouble in the state.
The governor earlier Saturday morning directed the state commissioner of police to arrest anyone found violating or taking laws into his hands by holding any form of protest over the recent killings in which about 73 persons lost their lives.
Efforts made by our correspondent to reach the Security Authority and stakeholders in the state for comments proved abortive as they were all said to be attending State Executive and Security council meeting.
Meanwhile, the catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, His Eminence John Cardinal Onayekan has condemned the incessant violent clashes in some parts of the country particularly the recent Benue massacre that have claimed scores of lives stressing the need for Nigerians to unite against evil forces.
Onaiyekan also said President Muhammadu Buhari should channel part of the resources for the rebuilding of the northeast to rebuilding churches that were destroyed in the northeast.
The Catholic Archbishop stated this at the dedication of a 3000 ultra modern complex built and donated to St. Augustine Catholic Church Otukpo, Benue state by the immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark on Saturday, 13th January.
“We must, as a people of Nigeria, unite against these forces of evil to liberate ourselves. These carnage and bloodletting orchestrated by hatred and wickedness cannot be a way of life. We must all join hands to stop this spate of killings.
“As Christians, we pray for peace, justice and love. We have no room for hatred or vengeance. Vengeance is for God. Let us do everything that promote peace and harmonious relationship with our neighbors”, he said.
Tom Okpe, Makurdi