- The Tiv Youths Organisation has cried out over the arraignment of the commander of the Benue state Livestock Guards
- He was arraigned on allegations that he was involved in the murder of two priests and 17 worshippers at a Catholic Church
- The youths alleged that there is a ploy by the federal government and IGP to change the narrative on the herdsmen-farmers clashes in Benue
- The group called on Benue indigenes and all Nigerians to ‘reject the cheap gimmick’, insisting that the victims of the attack know the real killers
The arraignment of Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku, the commander of the Benue state Livestock Guards, has been described as a charade and a sham by the president of the Tiv Youths Organisation (TYO), Timothy Hembaor.
He made the comment during a chat with newsmen in Makurdi on Monday, June 4, The Independent reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the group said Tershaku’s arraignment is a ‘travesty of justice’ and a ploy by the federal government and Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris to change the narrative on the clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Benue.
It further said it was ‘devilish’ to try and change the narrative of 'Fulani publicized attempts' to annihilate occupants of the Benue valley; in order to make it seem as if the attacks were coming from within.
Hemboar said the group was shocked to read that Tershaku and some members of the state Livestock Guards were arraigned over the killing of the two priests and 17 worshippers at Saint Ignatius Quasi Parish, Mbalom, Gwer-East local government area, about a month ago.
He stated: “We read with shock and disbelief, reports in the media that the commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku, and some members of the group have been arraigned for murder.
“This arraignment is a blatant travesty of justice. It is also evident of the collusion of the Nigeria Police with the Presidency and the Fulani ethnic groups to change the Benue narrative. We therefore reject the charade and call on Benue indigenes and all Nigerians to reject the cheap gimmick.”
Hemboar insisted that Benue people and indeed “survivors of the Mbalom church massacre know their killers.”
He went further: “It is clear that the Police high command led by the IGP has openly expressed its opposition to the law (Anti-Open grazing law) itself and as well as its implementation.
“Their branding of Alhaji Tershaku and Livestock Guards as murderers is another expression of hatred for the grazing law and support for Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors.
“The arraignment of the commander and members of the guards, many of who were killed in the New Year 2018 attacks is an attempt to brand the victims as aggressors. The TYO views this arraignment as a sham and a travesty of justice.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a human rights group called for the truth behind the arrest of some livestock guards by soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Benue state.
The group, Foundation for Truth and Justice, also condemned the Benue state Government for arming the guards to protect the anti-grazing bill in the state.
The coordinator of the group, Martins Nwaiwu, said arming the guards could have led to the carnage in the state.
Victims of herdsmen killing buried in Benue state - on NAIJ.com TV: