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Buhari Miyetti Allah denies involvement in herdsmen killings during Benue meeting with President

The group denied allegations that it sponsored attacks against local communities.

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The Miyetti Allah Group in Benue State told President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, March 12, 2018, that it is not involved in the spate of killings that has taken the lives of over 100 victims in the state since January.

The group's chairman, Ubbi Haruna, made this clear to the president in a meeting with relevant stakeholders at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital.

After the president arrived in the state on Monday morning, he presided over the interactive session with state governor, Samuel Ortom, traditional rulers, community leaders and major stakeholders.

According to a report by Channels Television, groups present at the meeting include representatives of Miyetti Allah Group, representatives of farmers in Benue State, Benue State Livestock Guard, Benue Joint Sociocultural Group Mzough U-Tiv, among others.

During the meeting, Haruna denied allegations that the Miyetti Allah group sponsored attacks against local communities, and assured that peace will reign in the state.

He said, "The association has always appreciated peaceful and harmonious coexistence between farmers and herdsmen,” he said. Going forward, there will be peace in the state. Let bygone be bygone to allow peace and security to prevail."

The representatives of farmers at the meeting, Terlumun Akputu, told the president that thousands of farmers have been displaced by the crisis that escalated in January 2018.

"More than 160, 000 of peasant farmers are now refugees in their own land because of the herdsman attacks on their communities and farms," he said.

The commander of the Benue State Livestock Guard, Aliyu Tershaku, also denied allegations that the agency is involved in militia activities as it has been accused of carrying out militia attacks on herdsmen.

Buhari visiting troubled states

Benue State is the second of a series of troubled states that the president is paying a visit to after an earlier visit to Taraba State and other planned visits to Zamfara, Yobe and Rivers where scores have died in violent attacks in 2018.

Benue has been troubled with violent killings this year as a spate of attacks by suspected cattle herders have led to the death of over 100 victims.

At least 24 people were killed during a recent attack carried out on March 5 by herdsmen in Omusu Edimoga, a village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.

The bodies of 73 men, women and children were buried at a mass burial ceremony organised by the state government on January 11 after several attacks by cattle herders.

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