We may take up arms to defend ourselves from the continuous attacks of Fulani herdsmen, indigenes of Agatu community in Benue State said yesterday.
Leader of One Idoma Initiative, Mr. Paul Edeh, who addressed reporters yesterday in Abuja at a Peace Concert organised to raise funds for Agatu indigenes, said though indigenes of the community had started raising funds to rebuild their area, they would not continue to wait for the government to protect them.
His words: “It is no longer breaking news that Fulani herdsmen attacked our people and over 2,000 houses were destroyed. We have gathered here today to advocate for peace for our people and also raise funds for the rebuilding of Agatu.
“We are talking about peace in Idoma Land and Agatu is an Idoma community. We are saying enough is enough of these attacks on the Idoma people; we want the government to know that if you are pushed to the wall, there is this resistant spirit within every man. If the government cannot come to our aid, we might not have the luxury to wait. The government should do the needful so that our people are not forced to defend themselves.
“If we are forced to defend ourselves, it might lead to the proliferation of firearms, which is what we don’t want. And if it gets to that, government will even spend more to disarm citizens. So we are saying let there be peace and the government has a role to play in ensuring this.”
Edeh, however, said there had been relative peace in Agatu after an accord was signed, urging the Fulani herdsmen to leave the community.
“A communique was issued and the first two items urged the Fulani herdsmen to carry their people and leave Agatu and they truly left.
“Within three days after that communiqué was signed, the herders left Agatu and till date, I can confirm to you that though we have some Fulanis coming in at times, they have left the community in the last two or three months the communiqué was signed.”