The House of Representatives has asked the federal government to send relief materials to people displaced following attacks by gunmen who invaded Izzi communities in Ekile and Ijigban Wards in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State during which 130 people were killed.
This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by the member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/ Okpokwu Federal Constituency, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, at the plenary.
He mentioned the communities affected by the attack, which occurred on May 30, to include Ndobasi, Ataloga, Odoke, Ndigwe, Ekpufu, all in Ekile Ward, while many Izzi people were also murdered in Obakotor village, in Ijigban Ward.
He told the House that the gunmen were believed to have carried out the crime to avenge the killing of one of their own, a prominent Fulani herder known as Alhaji Isa Musa in Ataloga.
“Alhaji Musa was reportedly killed by four IPOB/ ESN members while returning from the popular Ndobasi Market in Ekile Ward in February, this year.
“IPOB openly claimed responsibility for the act and the Benue State Government promptly arrested the culprits and handed them over to the police and they have since been prosecuted and convicted.
“Also aware that I joined the Benue State Government to intervene on the matter and assuage the family of Alhaji Musa.
“We reached a truce but our efforts turned out to be the peace of the graveyard, as the family of Alhaji Musa allegedly mobilized mercenaries and launched a savage attack on the peaceful and law-abiding members of my Constituency, who knew nothing about the killing of Alhaji Musa,” he said.
He also told the House that apart from the invasion of Ekile Ward by gunmen suspected to be herders, “there is an ongoing crisis between the Ezza and Effium people, principally in Ulayi District, of Ado LGA of Benue State, which has led to the spiral of killings, with thousands rendered homeless as well as the destruction of property and businesses running into billions of naira in the popular Inikiri market.
“Consequently, several IDPs camps have been created in Ado LGA, to provide temporary shelter to the refugees.
“Experts have also predicted hyper hunger and starvation in Benue State and particularly, in my Federal Constituency next year, as farmers can no longer go to their farms in this raining season, or markets to ply their trade for fear of the unknown,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the House to call on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently supply relief materials to the affected Izzi communities in Ado LGA, Benue State.
The lawmaker also asked that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development be urged to pay the medical bills of the surviving victims and grant them COVID-19 loans or grants to pick the pieces of their lives.
He also urged the federal government, precisely the Inspector General of Police to establish Mobile Police Post in all the border wards of Ado LGA, namely Ekile, Ijigban, Ulayi and Akpoge- Ogbilolo Wards, saying these wards currently do not have police posts.