Network calls for end to daily killings in Benue
A group, the Benue Valley Professional Network has called for an immediate end to the killings in Benue State and other middle belt region, which they accused terrorists of being responsible.
In a press release issued after its Colloquium on “Peace, Progress and Development in the Benue Valley” held in Lagos, the group declared that the terrorists who were hiding under the guise of ‘herdsmen’ are responsible for the incessant killings, which had left hundreds dead in the areas.
The release signed by Vitalis Ortese and Ier Jonathan-Ichaver, called for “inclusive leadership to take into cognizance the contributions of professionals with a diversity of skills that can aid development.
The 9-point resolution also included “the need for a review of the current structure of the nation to include fiscal federalism, local government autonomy and a weaker central government.
“The participants noted with dismay that the government was failing in its duty to protect the lives and property of its citizens in the Benue Valley and the middle belt and called for the government and other leaders to address this grievous failing urgently.
“They also called for communities to redefine their identities as people of the Benue Valley and deepen the need for professionals to gain a stronger understanding on the historical origins and evolution of their indigenous backgrounds.
At the ceremony, which included presentation of awards of Certificate of Commendation to some people from the region, the group called for the engagement of state actors in the management of social and other systems to drive the developments in the Benue Valley.
“The participants also restated their commitment to Nigeria; in the face of provocation by state institutions who are appear to be weak in curtailing the killings in the valley.
“They also advocated for strong mentorship programmes to prepare and empower youths from the Benue valley.
The colloquium also called on youths to adopt a positive and effective use of social media resources by way of harnessing ideas, enhancing and deploying the ideas creatively to resolve social issues.
Among those honoured
were The Tuface Foundation, the late Edward Dooga, Dr. Helen Tegh Tegh, Rev. Father Solomon Ukeyima, Mrs. Alu Azege, Dr. Ochoche, and Rev. Father John Atta of the Oturkpo Diocese, Mr. Daniel Kwen, Barrister Terence Vembe.
About 70 professionals from Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Asaba attended the colloquium.
Other key speakers and participants at the event include, Prof. Iorwuese Hagher a former senator, federal minister and aspiring presidential candidate, Prof. Jonathan Ndera of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Dr. Terver Akpar of the Benue State University and Dr Terhemba Wuam of the Kaduna State University, Kaduna; others include Architect James Ugo, Engr. John Audu as well as Dr. Chris Orngu, the representative of the Vice Chancellor of the Benue State University, Prof. Sugh Kembe and Rev. Father Andrew Igbana, Rector of the St. James Seminary Yandev Gboko.