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NGOs condemn Benue killings

The Next Generation Youth Initiative International (NeGYII) and CLEEN Foundation on Tuesday condemned the New Year’s killing of innocent citizens in parts of Benue State.

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The group described the killings as, "unwarranted, an act by every standard which depicts barbarism, callousness and cruelty of the highest degree."

President of NeGYII, Ambassador Johnson Onoja, said his organisation, the CLEEN Foundation and partners had embarked on a project aimed at the prevention of violent extremism and youth radicalization in Benue state with particular reference to Makurdi and Buruku for over a year now in their three-year project plan for the state.

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"This engagement has gulped tens of millions of naira investments. The aim of this project is to concretely increase and grow the space for peace and its culturization in Benue state following the rampant cases of violence and herdsmen/farmers clashes which left unimagineable damages to lives and properties in the state," he said.

Onoja therefore expressed surprise and worried that in spite of their huge investment in peace in the state, such ugly incidence could still manifest, adding that Agatu mayhem still remained fresh in history with its scars hardly gone.

He further appealed to all the stakeholders in this crisis to sheath their sword, embrace peace, forgive and reconcile with one another as in his estimation Nigeria needs both the herdsmen and farmers whose role and contributions to the nation’s economy have been dominant.

"We implore the Federal Government of Nigeria to take concrete action to bring an end to this recurring herdsmen/farmers crisis. We strongly appeal that citizens should engage in dialogue for resolution of conflicts as a form of civility and doing the needful. It is very important that we all embrace peace. Peace is a pre-requisite to development," Onoja maintained.

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