OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF BENUE STATE ON TIV/ FULANI CRISIS

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Opinion, Politics, press releases/ News letter
Tags: , , , ,

Kenneth Yawe
Abuja Nigeria
kennethyawe@yahoo,com
Dr Gariel Suswam
Government House Makurdi
Benue State

OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF BENUE STATE.

Dear Governor,

It is with deep sadness and a bleeding heart that I struggle with shivering hands and bloodshot eyes to write you this letter. The events of the past week have not been pleasant for our country in general and Benue State in particular to say the least. I cannot begin to imagine the tremendous pressure you are going through at the moment trying to salvage what has become one of the bloodiest period in our history since the Tiv riots.
Even though it may seem to those of us who look on from outside that little is being done, I know that a lot is going on within your Government to bring the situation under control. Personally I am not particularly a big fan of yours, and even though we come from the same zone in Benue, I have  never voted for you in any election,  however this situation before us requires we put aside our  political / ideological differences and face this Fulani invasion that is threatening our very existence as a people.

Sir, as you may be aware in the past months the local governments Guma, Gwer, Gwer-west, Makurdi and Agatu, have become killing fields militants suspected to be Fulanis  have massacred hundreds of Benue farmers unchallenged, and it seems they have grown more confident and daring in the past weeks. As chief security officer of our State i am sure this gives you great concern.

Your Excellency, i am not unaware of the efforts your administration has made towards security in our state. The initial success of operation ZENDA and other joint military operations in the state are living testament to how serious your government takes the issue of security.

You have also made moves to bring the Fulani’s to the negotiation table in order to find a solution to this crisis, you have on several occasions invited Fulani emirs to Makurdi, even the Sultan of Sokoto was invited on one of such occasions. In recent days you have been very vocal in the media trying to draw much needed federal attention to this crisis. Whoever says your government has done absolutely nothing to address this crisis is just stingy with the truth.

Sir, while these efforts are commendable, I would like to recommend a much more practical and hands-on approach. I am sure you are aware your excellency that the federal government is locked in a war with insurgents in the north east, and if details emerging from that part of the country are correct then it wont be wrong to say we are losing that war.The slaughter seems to have intensified in recent weeks at the same time our homeland is being ravaged, this may be the responsible for the lack of attention paid to our problems at the moment.

Your Excellency, calling on our overstretched army for help at this moment when they cannot even defend their barracks may not yield the desired results. The solution to this crisis and whether the Fulanis continue to kill us everyday lies solely within your actions in the coming days.

THE WAY FORWARD

Murder begins where self-defense ends – (George Buchner)

Your Excellency Sir, the reason our people are hunted and killed like animals is because they lack the means to defend themselves, it’s as simple as that.  If we intend to end this bloodshed then some tough decisions will have to be made!  you may have realized by now that we cannot depend on the police and army to save us, and it further complicates matters that you do not command its officers and men.

‘Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is used in self-defense’- Ron Paul

Your Excellency sir, i am recommending a community-based response to this problem:
Enable the communities defend themselves by forming armed Vigilante groups in the affected villages and border communities.
Work with the state assembly and Nigerian police to issue licences that will enable these groups to carry arms and receive training. Existing vigilante groups in the country are registered with the police ours shouldn’t be an exception.
Set up a management commission made up of retired senior military officers in the state to manage the affairs of the vigilante group. They should amongst other things register members of the vigilante groups, organize and manage training and deployment of arms, and also provide proper documentation for future disarmament exercises.

Sir, I know this approach may seem drastic and even dangerous considering our political climate and the fear that armed groups may be used to pursue selfish political ambitions or even terrorize our people, this is why I would recommend that the party chairmen of all political parties in Benue both at the state and local government be involved in the management of these groups to ease the climate of mistrust.  

Your Excellency sir, ‘desperate times require desperate measures’ and you will agree with me that we live in desperate times. The coming days I can imagine will be very challenging for your administration as the people of Benue look towards you and God for a solution. You have an opportunity to make history and write your name in gold, let it be remembered for generations to come, that in the time of Gabriel Suswam, Benue rose up and defended itself.
May God guide you and give you the wisdom to make the right decisions.

Long Live Benue!
Long Live Nigeria!

Kenneth Yawe

Comments
  1. vandefan says:

    Kenneth if I may. This is a well written article stating a problem and offering a solution. Unlike us not to just blame blindly. I thank you for the enlightenment.

    Like

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