Independent Human Rights and Crime Monitoring Group (IHRCMG) has accused troops of the Nigerian Army deployed to Benue State of causing more harm than good.
The group is alleging that the soldiers “rather than bringing peace and move people back to their ancestral homes, the military has been encouraging more herdsmen to move into Benue communities.”
Nigerian Army had following the incessant killings of Benue indigenes by suspected Fulani herdsmen, deployed troops under an operation code named Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatuma, to Benue and five other states.
But in its preliminary report on Wednesday in Makurdi on the execution of the troops to end herdsmen incursions in Benue State, IHRCMG leader, Mr. Solomon Adodo, lamented that the state had seen more killings, destruction of farmlands and houses since the coming of the military.
He accused the military of aiding the influx of cattle into Benue State and take over of Benue communities by herdsmen in violation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of the state.
“Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatum is causing more harm than good to Benue communities. Rather than bringing peace and move people back to their ancestral homes, the military has been encouraging more herdsmen to move into Benue communities.
“The military encouraged herdsmen with a handblil, which they used at the launch of the exercise. They circulated the handbill misinforming the general public and giving a perspective that was not true.
“And Federal Government appears to be complicit in the Benue killings in all ramifications, the actions taken so far by the government does not show any political will to end the killings.
“We, therefore, recommend that the military should reassess its operations and sincerely help Benue to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of 2017,” the rights group stated.
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