Thursday, 14 April 2016

MAFO Protesters Shut Down Benue


Human and vehicular movements along major streets of Makurdi, the Benue State capital, was  on Wednesday disrupted  as thousands of members of  the Movement Against Fulani Occupation of Benue Communities staged a peaceful protest.



The protest, which started  at the Benue  State University’s first gate by 7.30am, had MAFO members marching through the Wurukum Roundabout and High Level  Roundabout down to the Police Headquarters, up to the Benue State House of Assembly Complex and ended at the Benue People’s House.



Most members of the group were seen chanting protest songs with placards bearing inscriptions such as “Fulani go home”, “Benue has no grazing land” “stop killing our children and our parents,” “grazing and farming cannot go to gather”,  “Federal Government protect our fundamental lives in Benue” and  “Benue farmers want peace.”

Addressing co-protesters at the Wurukum roundabout, one of their leaders, Rev. David Ogbole, wondered why the Federal Government that was expected to be protecting  lives and properties of the citizenry was protecting cattle instead.

Ogbole called on the international community to intervene in the matter.

“In Benue, there is no land for grazing. Fulani herdsmen should withdraw to where they came from.; our basket is becoming empty,” he stressed.

At the state  House of Assembly, the group submitted a private bill endorsed by many of its members and asked that it should be passed into law to stop further Fulani killings in the state.

The movement also called on people of the state to stop eating cow meat (beef) and embrace other delicacies such as goat, fish, bush meat  to weaken the financial strength of the marauders in acquiring arms.

The spokesperson for MAFO, Rev. Father Solomon Ukeyima, said the people of the state were in pains and called for collaboration of the Assembly in passing the bill into law so as to reverse the senseless killing and ransacking of many communities in the state.

While addressing the protesters at the Assembly complex, two lawmakers, Mr. Avine Agbum and Bem Mngutyo, commended MAFO members for the peaceful demonstration and assured them that the bill would be speedily passed into law to stop the senseless killings.

Receiving the protesters later at the Benue People’s House, the state Deputy  Governor,  Benson Abounu, lauded the peaceful action of the group, saying “it is in line with democratic principle.”

http://www.punchng.com/anti-fulani-herdsmen-protesters-shut-down-benue/

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