” I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere imaginable. “What did we do wrong? Why are they killing us?”. Why are our people being slaughtered so mindlessly and so ceaselessly?.
Those are the questions in the hearts and on the lips of my people, said Dr Kester Kyenge, former Logo Local Government Chairman and current member Benue State House of Assembly, Logo Constituency.
“Is there no one to save us? Is there no law to shield us? Or are our killers above the law?
“From one end of Benue to the other the carnage has become a regular beat, a carnival of sort, a bazaar of death.
“Many of them, women, children and the old, must have died with those unanswered questions on their parched lips. They must have uttered those words in cries of agony at the moments of their gruesome deaths.
“Its rhythm has become premeditated and predictable, bringing together the season of harvest on our farms with the visiting harvest of blood and tears; The season of the herdsmen’s harvest.
“As the people’s Representative I fully appreciate that every single death of one of us diminishes us collectively. I am impoverished and have never felt this damned and unsettled as continuously hapless constituents are hounded, villages razed and ancestral farm lands sacked while government gropes endlessly for solutions.
“That we the people of Logo Local Government Area who are being killed so wantonly and so brazenly by suspected Fulani herdsmen have done no wrong to our assailants to deserve paying with our dear lives.
“That we have all along been resident in our humble rural abodes content with pursuing a simple agrarian means of livelihood which largely consists in tilling the land for food and economic exchange.
“That my people of Logo do not have any issues with those herdsmen invading our land, killing at will and leaving irreparable destruction in their wake. We have continued to engage in constructive dialogue and obedience to the dictates of enabling laws and statutes while our killers have continued their systematic and organized pogrom with flagrant disregard to the laws of the land.
“Much as I have called for sustained collectivity I take personal loss and responsibility not only because I have lost relations directly but the more because I am involved in government, irrespective of my continued frustrations and obvious limitations.
“From Tse Akenawe, to Tse Verinumbe, to Tse Orveren, to Jootar, to Tyogbenda Anyiin communities in Gambe-Tiev, Logo to Tomatar near Tse Abi, Nongov in Guma Local Government Areas, it has been sustained attacks and killings as the statistics swell with daily harvest of tons of corpses from surrounding environs. These settlements have been reduced to ghost habitations with huge numbers of displaced old, women and children trekking aimlessly with neither food, water nor shelter.
“We have a right to life, same as all humans, including those who take it away from us so cruelly and inexplicably. This is a right guaranteed under the laws of our land and the universal charter of human rights, and it is that right we call on the global human community to rise to guarantee for us now.
“We also demand that the Federal Government declare Fulani herdsmen perpetrating violence against farmers across the country as terrorists and treat them as such.
“This is in deed one invasion too many, and the deafening silence hovering over it from the top must be broken now and for good.
Once again, as I commiserate with HE Samuel Ortom and the government and peace loving people of Benue State and particularly helpless Logo State Constituents in our season of collective grief and great loss, I pledge on my oath that I will not relent in my resolve to fight to get justice for my constituents. I will continue to collaborate with agencies and actors of government to bring lasting peace and succor to my people.
May the blood of our murdered loved ones and our tears flowing in agony not be in vain, Kyenge concluded.