32 Killed in Kogi by Suspected Herdsmen – Senator Aidoko

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Senator representing Kogi East, Atai Aidoko, has reported an onslaught by suspected Fulani herdsmen which, he said, claimed 32 lives in two local governments in Kogi State to the Senate.

Aidoko said 20 people were killed in Dekina Local Government Area, 12 in Omala while another five were maimed in the two areas.

“This is a violent attack on the people of Oganenugo in Dekina Local Government and Omala Local Government of Kogi state by Fulani herdsmen.

“The Senate notes that on Wednesday 14th March 2018, no fewer than 20 people were killed in a violent attack on the people of Dekina Local Government and 12 people gruesomely killed in Omala local government of Kogi state by Fulani herdsmen.

“The Senate is concerned that despite the widespread condemnation of the killings going on in other parts of the country, the perpetrators of this heinous crimes have not been arrested and persecuted by the Nigerian Police Force. This has led to the continuation of the killings in the country.

“The senate is worried that the incessant attack impedes all well-meaning efforts at peace building,” he said while presenting the motion.

He insisted that fulani herdsmen invaded his communities in Dekina/Omala local government areas and not armed bandits are postulated in certain quarters.
Senator Aidoko made this statement while briefing the senate press corps after plenary on Thursday.
He said‎ the attacks were results of Kogi state government policies to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen thereby giving them express license to unleash violence on the indigenes.
The senator said the argument that the attacks were carried out by armed bandits will be an indictment on security agencies and state government that ‎have deliberately failed in its duties to protect lives and properties of its citizens.
According to the senator,‎ it is not possible for armed bandits to disguise like herdsmen and speak Fulani language,
“My people are predominantly agrarian people who are into full time farming who have been ambushed by the herdsmen in the course of pastoral activities, eating up farm products and crops cultivated over the years.
“The herdsmen will now resort to reinforcement using arms, ammunitions and mercenaries to maim and kill innocent people in my area with ease.
“We are aware of instances where some of the indigenes lost their lives while others who eventually escaped with injuries confirmed that it was Fulani herdsmen that attacked them.
“It is worrisome that parents of children who were denied salaries and pensioners resorted to farming and again subjected to attacks and violence through bad government policies in the state,” he said.
The senator said as at press time, no government official has reacted or responded to the killings in these areas owing to anti-people policies and programs of the present administration.
Senator Aidoko urged the people of Kogi East and communities ‎ to rejig their local vigilance groups to avoid recurrence.
He commiserated with the families that lost their loved ones ‎promising to do anything humanly possible in the area of compensation

During plenary, Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West, charged the federal and state governments to take swift action on the development.

“Kogi is in the news again for the very wrong reason. The responsibility for the protection of lives and properties is the primary prerogative of government at the state and federal level. Enough of the excuse that our security agencies are over stretched. When governors, president, senators took oath of office, we promised to defend the constitution and lives and properties of those who voted for us. There has been gross display and incompetence at the federal and state level. Let us for once call Mr. President.”

He also blamed the killings on Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello.

He said an invitation by the governor that Fulani herdsmen “should come and reside in the state allowed the killers the freedom of movement”.

“What we have in Kogi is not news and we expected it when my own governor told the world that anywhere they chase Fulani man away, that Kogi state is open for them to come. He was the first to say that Kogi should be used as for colony. If today, we have these criminals capitalising on the verbal diarrhoea of an individual, then automatically we invited those crises.

“Finally, on these killings, Kogi State Government has not made any official statement. Killings of this magnitude, no statement, no sympathy, no visit to the site of the incidence, nothing. This type of insensitivity to the people of Kogi state is appalling.”

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