Benue Attacks: House Wants Compensation For Affected Farmers


BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 03, (THEWILL) - Members of the House of Representatives Thursday called on the Federal Government to consider compensating farmers who were victims of the violent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Benue State that led to the destruction of their farmland and crops.

The lawmakers also appealed to the security agencies to evacuate herdsmen from ancestral lands and houses of indigenes of the state.

The call was made after a motion sponsored by member representing Gwer/ Gwer West federal constituency of Benue, Hon.

Christiana Alaaga (PDP, Benue), on the need to stop nomadic herdsmen from attack, occupation of ancestral farmlands and alleged use of chemical weapons on defenceless farmers in Agena, Mbatsada and Sangev communities in East/Gwer West Local Government Areas of Benue State.

In approving the motion, the House also condemned in clear terms, the killings and maiming by the herdsmen and called on security agencies including the Nigerian Army, Police and Directorate of State Security (DSS) to arrest the perpetrators of the violence, especially those who allegedly used chemical weapons to attack farmers and bring them to book.

It equally urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the surviving victims of the attacks who are internally displaced in Agena, Mbatseda, Sengev and Mbakyoondu communities, they further called on security agencies to take urgent steps to ensure that travellers and motorists on Makurdi/Naka federal interstate highway as well as evacuate herdsmen who have settled on ancestral farmlands and taken possession of houses in Gwer Local Government.

In her lead debate on the motion, Alaaga expressed worry that killings of people in their houses have taken a new dimension in the form of chemical weapons deployed by herdsmen and expressed worry that if it is not checked, the deadly practice may shift to other parts of the country.

"Nomadic herdsmen numbering over 200 hundred laid siege of Agena, Mbatsada communities of Gwer East local government in the early hours of the day, shot and killed people as they came out of their houses.

worried that the crises have taken a dangerous dimension of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the herdsmen on Tiv farmers in those areas and if this practice is not stopped, it might spread to other parts of the country,' she said.

Allaga further expressed worry that "with the growing number of internally displaced persons, there is impending humanitarian crisis such as the outbreak of epidemics, famine and crime which may lead to more casualties.