The One Idoma Initiative has lambasted the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase over his recent claim that the figure of Agatu killings was exaggerated. A statement by convener of the group, Bar. Paul Edeh faulted the IG’s claims, describing it as very unfortunate and disheartening.
Arase, who was recently on a one-day visit to Niger State, while addressing officers and men of the Niger State Police Command at the Officers Mess in Minna, was quoted as saying: “I was around, I travelled to Benue State, I did not see where 300 people were buried.”
Reacting with total dismay, Edeh wondered why Arase came to such a conclusion with just barely a few hours’ visit to Agatu.
“We are yet to believe the IG made such statement. But if the comment truly came from him, then he just betrayed us,” Edeh said in a statement issued on Saturday.
The statement recalled that during the Free Agatu Protest organized in Abuja on March 2, the IG personally sent the Commissioner of Police in Abuja, to inform them that he was going to visit Benue to ascertain the situation.
He said, “The IG promised to brief us as soon as he returns from his trip, only for us to read in the newspapers few days later, quoting him as describing the situation in Agatu as mere hyperbole.
“Such statement is very unfortunate and disappointing.
“It is laughable, yet, annoying that the IG could not fault the claims by the Fulani herdsmen that over 10,000 of their cows were reportedly killed by Agatu people without proving it.
“It is obvious he is not in tune with reality. We urge the IG to still go back to the ghost communities and do his findings well before coming to make such disheartening statement,” Edeh added.
He further thanked the federal government for approving the deployment of soldiers to the ravaged community.
While appreciating the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh for his kind gestures towards the struggle, Edeh called on all Idoma sons, both at home and in the Diaspora to join the match against the killings in Agatu and other parts of Idoma community by the herdsmen.