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Benue killings and Civil Society Interventions

LIZZY Igbine

In recent times, from first quarter of 2018 to June, over 600 persons have been killed in the Benue Axis, this rate is alarming and disturbing. The project idea is an advocacy tool created as a panacea to stem the wanton killings, burning of homes and destruction of farms. The project is to create awareness, advocate for justice to be done to the oppressed people of the middle belt and to attract public sympathy and international organizations to support and stem the killings in Benue State and the middle belt zone. International Organizations and Countries should not fold their hands but assist Nigeria to fight terrorism

There are direct and indirect implications; an example is the Communities who were affected directly. The farmers whose crops were vandalized, the fisher- men who could not do their fishing business any more, the citizens who are denied access to daily food and their means of livelihood. The farmers who lost opportunities to do their business, relatives who lost their family members and did not have opportunity to accord them decent burials and the entrepreneurs who also lost their means of livelihood due to the crises.

 

There are some other states and communities who are in the same crisis situation examples are Zamfara State, Plateau State etc. Civil Society visits to the troubled areas have positive actions, to draw the case at hand to the country’s security operators and to seek for proper interventions, stop the killings and reduce its negative effects on the Economy and Social Stability.

During these visits, interviews were granted to the affected persons in IDP camps (Internally Displaced Persons). Here are their comments.
Interviews were conducted at various locations of IDPs camps.
District: Gbajimba Local Government: Guma. Sex: male, Occupation: Retired Civil Servant, estimate of loss due to displacement is over one million Naira worth of Farm produce and he lost a relation in the crises.
Yonou district Logo Local Government, sex: female, she was displaced and has members of her family living in the camp. She said she lost over one hundred thousand naira worth of yams in her barn to the crises and she have no hope of recovery unless the government comes to her aid.
Yonou Local Government, in Logo district, Sex: male, Occupation: self-employed a petty trader, He narrated loss of all the goods in his shop when the community heard gunshots and they ran away at night and he has not been able to return to his community he complained bitterly of losing his life time efforts of a total sum over two hundred thousand naira.
We visited the IDPs in the month of June to ascertain the economic and human losses and to share relief materials.
Our Organization is a leading Women Farmers Group. We are farmers of crops, Poultry, and Fishery .
We were encouraged due to the effect of the killings on farmers. Effects of cattle grassing on farmlands and the Economic Consequences to the entire Communities and State. Above all, we were worried by the no action from the Government.

This story/ investigation was written with support from the Code for Nigeria via its WanaData Programme.

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