The Benue Youth Forum, BYF, on Monday, lashed out at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar over his comment on the recent killing in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State by Fulani herders.
BYF said Atiku urinated on the graves of those killed by Fulani herders in Ukum Local Government Area of the state.
Terrence Kuanum, the President of the Forum, accused Atiku of justifying the killings in the area by Fulani herders.
He said Atiku’s comment that the heinous acts were due to “sustained clashes between farmers and herders,” was condemnable.
In a statement, Kuanum expressed disappointed over the “unfortunate message credited to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar in which he simply urinated on the graves of scores of people recently murdered by Fulani herdsmen in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue state.”
He added: “That the PDP presidential candidate tagged the dastardly killing of children, women and the aged in their sleep as “escalation of intercommunal violence” clearly heightens the suspicion as to his level of insensitivity and complicity in the incessant attacks on Benue communities.
“Equally sad and irresponsible is the comment by Alhaji Atiku that suggests that the killings in Benue state were caused by lack of inclusion and integration of people into communities where they live, work, pay taxes and raise their children.”
The President of the Forum also accused Atiku of habouring hatred for the state Governor, Samuel Ortom.
He added: “It is not surprising that Alhaji Atiku who has not hidden his hatred for Governor Samuel Ortom for his (Ortom’s) resilience towards ensuring that Benue people don’t surrender their lands to cattle breeders has never really been sincere in condemning the issue especially as his kinsmen are known to be behind the killings, maiming, destruction of property and displacement of innocent villagers from their communities.”
The Forum charged the former Vice President to outline his strategy on how to tackle the killing of the people of Benue State if elected.
He warned that Atiku should forget votes from the state if he fails to outline his plans on how to tackle these killings in the state.
BYF also reiterated the need to strip Atiku of the “Zege Mule u Tiv” chieftains title.