Written by Scholastica JOSEPH

IGP apologises for calling Benue killings communal clashes

The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, has apologized for describing the New Year’s attacks and killings in Benue by Fulani herdsmen as communal clashes.

The IGP, during a press conference in Abuja, had described the killings as communal clashes and not an invasion as alleged by Benue state government.

The statement was followed with serious criticisms by Benue people who accused him of being insensitive to the bloodshed in the land and demanded that he apologised.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting during his relocation to the troubled state after a presidential directive to Makurdi, on Wednesday, Idris apologized, saying it was a misconception.

"As a person, I want to apologize for my statement at the press conference in Abuja and to say that my coming to Benue will ensure we get to the root of the matter."

He said the federal government has put in place measures to ensure that the miscreants were arrested and dealt with.

According to him, government has deployed 10 mobile police units, one special counter terrorism unit, a contingent of investigators, aerial surveillance patrol among other measures to halt the killings, arrest all culprits and restore peace to Benue.

He called on the Benue people to volunteer useful information to enable them succeed on their mission.

Earlier, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom had thanked the people for their support and obedience to constituted laws even in the face of provocation.

He had informed the IGP that the Fulani herdsmen attacking Benue are being camped in Tungwa area in See Local government area of Nasarawa state and urged him to investigate it.

He urged the police to show a change in attitude in handling the Fulani invasion and killing of innocent Benue citizens.

"73 dead bodies of women, children and the aged are lying cold in the mortuaries. It is very painful. So, those of you who have a duty of stopping this, we will appreciate a change of attitude to enable you surmount this challenge,” Ortom said.

He also advised the IGP to report back to the president if the job he was sent to do is beyond the police force so that something else can be done.

"We will keep our eyes open to see if what you told us is being done. If you see that this assignment is beyond you, there is no shame in this, report back to the president"

He disclosed that the 73 dead bodies will be buried, Thursday, in a mass grave in.


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