The Tivs in Diaspora under the auspices of the Mutual Union of the Tivs in America (MUTA) have warned that they can no longer tolerate the incessant attacks and killings of their kiths and kins in Benue State by the suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The group, which is a registered association of the sons and daughters of Tiv in the Americas (United States, Canada, Mexico), and a non-profit, non-partisan charitable organisation committed to promoting and supporting the Tiv communities and others both in Nigeria and around the world, strongly condemned what it described as the orchestrated attacks and killings of their people in parts of Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States by Fulani herdsmen and mercenaries.
In the statement signed yesterday by the President, MUTA, Mr. Joseph Unongo and Secretary, Mr. David Agum, they expressed a deep sense of grief and total disgust that “what started as a local dispute along the Benue-Nasarawa axis, a few years ago, has now manifested as a well-orchestrated agenda to overrun Tivland.”
According to Unongo, the planned extermination of Tiv people is evident from the expanded scope of the attacks and the sophistication with which the invasion are being executed.
They said the most recent, well-coordinated attacks and devastation of Tiv communities in Makurdi, Guma, Gwer, Gwer-West, Kwande, Logo, and Katsina-Ala local government areas of Benue State was suggestive of a deeper plan than meets the eye.
He warned the perpetrators and their sponsors to think twice because it wonâ€™t be that easy.
They called on the federal government to rise up to its responsibility to protect the lives and property of Benue people and also put a permanent halt to the marauding Fulani herdsmen and their conspirators.
Part of the statement read: “MUTA warns that if the federal government of Nigeria cannot defend the Tiv people from the marauding herdsmen, we will be forced to mobilise the people to defend themselves.
“Indeed, as Tiv sons and daughters in the Diaspora, we cannot fold our arms and remain mute as our communities at home are being ravaged and our people being killed, maimed, and rendered homeless by the Fulani and their cohorts.
“Enough is enough! The attacks and killings of innocent Tiv people and other Nigerians must stop. MUTA called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to live up to its responsibility of protecting innocent citizens from rampaging mercenaries. It is simply unacceptable that our people should become refugees (internally displaced persons) in their own land.”
The group further condemned the attacks on innocent Nigerians and the wanton destruction of lives and property “by marauding terrorists and mercenaries in any guise.
“We express our solidarity with the good people of Benue State and other communities across Nigeria that are suffering these violent attacks.”