A Benue State student body, the National Union of Benue State Students (NUBESS) has issued a communiqué, after a general assembly meeting in the capital of the State, Makurdi, threatening to shut down all Institutions and businesses in Benue State as well as order youths on self-defense if the Federal Government fails to stop killings, start rebuilding affected communities, and provide relief materials in 7 days, a report on TheNation Newspaper says.
Campusbiz could not immediately reach the Union or verify the Communique because it appears NUBESS does not have a website or social media presence and none of its executives could be reached. The communiqué, said to be signed by all the students present, expressed solidarity to Governor Samuel Ortom for signing into law the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, which they described as “a lasting solution” to the menace of herdsmen invasion in the state.
A part of the communiqué was quoted as reading: “Following the negligence of the Federal Government to endorse and effectively support the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law (2017), which is the sure solution to the herders-farmers crisis, Benue students have resolved that a seven-day ultimatum be given to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to stop the killings in our state.”
The students urged the government to commence the rebuilding of communities destroyed by the herdsmen, and provide relief materials to the displaced victims.
Failure to comply with the demands, the students threatened to shut down all tertiary institutions in the state and order youths on self-defence. They vowed to halt commercial activities in the state until “a lasting solution” is brought to the killing by herdsmen.
NUBESS president, Pillah Romans, was quoted as saiying: “I have absolute confidence that the students will cooperate. In fact, we have been receiving calls from several youth organisations, students’ bodies, workers’ unions and civil society groups expressing their support and solidarity with our move.
“We have also been receiving calls from the security agencies threatening us with arrest if we carry out our plan in the state. We have received calls from Abuja politicians, but we are not intimidated. We are not shifting ground.”
Benue communities have been under attack by gunmen since the beginning of this year, leading to loss of lives and property, and displacement of several others.