Benue Group Commiserates With Army Over Loss Of Soldiers

Governor Samuel Ortom


The Association of Igede Media Professionals (AIMPs), has commiserated with the Nigerian Army, as well as families of the officer and eleven soldiers reportedly slaughtered in cold blood by bandits  in an unprovoked attack in and  around Bonta area of Konshisha Local Government of Benue State. 
Recall that the group had last week, insisted that Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom should take the blame for remaining indifferent until the escalation of the avoidable crisis, culminating in the gruesome murder of the soldiers.
The media professionals in a statement by its President, Mr. Egena Ode  on Sunday said; “It is a despicable crime and our hearts are with the military high command and the bereaved families of these gallant soldiers.
“As their bodies are committed to mother earth, we pray to God to give their loved ones the  needed strength and grace to face tomorrow. 
“We would commend the Nigeria  Army for the discipline and professionalism (in the face of grievous provocation) exhibited by its personnel in the  on-going  stabilisation campaign around Bonta. 
“Given the high-scale banditry in the area (attested to by troops themselves), weapons in circulation and frequency of attacks on Ukpute and it’s environs, we would call for a thorough arms mop-up as well as tracking of the funders and procurers of these bandits. 
“Such an extended operation is necessary for the peace and security of ordinary citizens in the area.
“We would also call upon the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff to as a matter of urgency  establish a buffer military post between Ukpute and Bonta as a further security  guarantee for the vulnerable and defenceless. 
“We believe a lesson must have been learnt by  the government of Benue State, and indeed, all  parties to the Ukpute-Bonta  dispute on the dangers of procrastination, indifference and  prejudicial behaviour by those in government in the face of grave and recurring danger; dangers of expansionist and annihilationist ambitions  by the more powerful neighbours; and  contempt or disrespect  for members  of our armed forces
“We do believe there is no alternative to good neighbourliness, peaceful co-existence, mutual recognition, and respect for constituted authority, especially, members of our armed forces  that conduct themselves within the limits of the law.
“In light of this, we urge the Benue State Goverment to do the needful by ensuring an unbiased and dispassionate  demarcation of the area. Happily,  documents or  survey maps  from archives confirmed by GPS have since reconfirmed the boundary.
“We however,  urge the State Goverment to go beyond  boundary demarcation by bringing development such as light to the beleaguered communities of Ukpute, Bonta and their environs as they belong to the forgotten parts of the state. Even the road that traverses the communities is unusable.
“Perhaps, the Governor needs no reminding that he deployed construction equipment to that road only to withdraw them after he won the 2019 election without an inch of work done.
“We would similarly urge all the communities in the area,  especially, Bonta and Ukpute, to embrace peace and to see themselves as collective  victims of a non-challant or non-responsive government. 
“Finally, we urge the State Goverment to compliment the military stabilisation initiative by immediately commencing sensitization campaign (complete with hotlines)  in the conflict area of the dangers of procuring or harbouring bandits or promoting violence”.


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