The President General of the Yoruba Community in Benue State and Chairman, Rantito Group of Companies, Chief Isaac Akinkunmi, on Wednesday led over 20 others to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi to donate blood to victims of the herdsmen attacks in the state.
The Chief Medical Director, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, Dr. Swede Telumun, had called for blood donation to victims of the New Year’s herdsmen attacks in the state.
Akinkunmi said he was moved by the CMD’s for blood donation.
He said, ‘’I could not hold myself when I heard the passionate appeal by the hospital that public-spirited individuals should come and donate blood to the victims. I decided to approach my employees, as well as my wife and appealed to them for us to donate blood. Those who agreed with me followed me here (hospital) and we willingly and freely donated blood to the victims.
“We are calling on other companies in the state to the same path by talking to their employees and convincing them that donating blood is not harmful to their health and they can come out to render similar gesture so as to save the lives of those victims.”
He decried the unprovoked and calculated attacks on the Benue people by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Akinkunmi however enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast and stop the killings.
“These killings are not just only happening in Benue; the herdsmen are killing farmers in Ondo, Enugu, Plateau, Oyo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Adamawa etc. It’s overwhelming that we are having these attacks every day.
“We are not in doubt of the fact that this recent attack is as a result of the law against open grazing in the state which the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is strongly opposed to. They have been issuing threats and have carried out their threats,” he said.
He commended Governor Samuel Ortom’s government for promulgating the anti-open grazing law saying it remained the only solution to the crisis in the state.
He also appealed to Buhari to find solution to the crisis.
“The primary responsibility of the government is to provide security for its citizens but when some group of people go with arms unchallenged and the others are unarmed, first group have an advantage over the others. So, the law-abiding citizens need adequate protection.
“While we are supporting the law on prohibition of open grazing, we, as a community, are not opposed to the establishment of grazing reserves all over the country. We are therefore calling on the Federal Government to look into that. Crop farming cannot go side by side with grazing.
“If this is allowed, this may lead to a hungry Nigeria because farmers all over the country are now afraid to go to their farms for the fear of the Fulani herdsmen.”
Meanwhile, a former Nigerian ambassador to Egypt, Sheikh Uthman Abdulazeez, has said there are fundamental problems that have not been addressed in connection with the recurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
He spoke during a media conference in Ilorin organised by the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.
“On the issue of herdsmen, we need to understand that there are so many problems which the government has refused to tackle. Several years ago, we were made to understand that the Sahara Desert was expanding because of climatic change and we had been warned even in Nigeria, that gradually, the pastoratists would be having difficulties. In Nigeria, they have to be move downwards, that is the area that we should worry about,” he said.