The Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Dioceses, Most Revd. Wilfred Anagbe, has demanded an unreserved apology from the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
The cleric said he watched Amaechi, the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and even a spokesman of the President who are all Christians say that Benue people were killing themselves.
Bishop Anagbe said this while raising concern that there was an orchestrated plan to Islamize Nigeria, insisting that the killings in Benue was in furtherance of that plot.
The cleric spoke Friday in his homily at the Mass to mark the Rite of Atonement and Purification of Mbalom land, seven months after two Catholic Priests and 17 other worshippers were killed by armed herdsmen at Saint Ignatius Quasi Catholic Parish Mbalom, Gwer Local government area.
Bishop Anagbe lambasted some government officials who had in their recent comments suggested that the killings in the state were caused by Benue.
He said, “Many think we have forgotten what happened in April 22, 2018.
“A lot of stories are now flying and many people are trying to change the narrative of the Benue killings, It is unfortunate.
“We are here to remind them that between January and June 2018 their was orchestrated killings of our people in Benue state.
“It is therefore an insult to the Tiv nation in particular for anyone to now say that it is not herdsmen that have been killing our people, that it is our people that are killing themselves.
“I watch the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the APC National Chairman and even a spokesman of the President who are all Christians saying that our people were killing each other.
“It is in Nigeria that people use politics to tell lies to gain advantage, but politics should be used to develop our people and not to ridicule them. I personally demand an apology from the likes of Amaechi because it is an insult to me personally.
“If you claim that our people are killing each other, who are those killing presently in Katsina state, Zamfara, Delta and other parts of the country.
“As for our own people, the political ‘almajeris’ who are seeking favour from the federal government they should stop selling our people for political favour.
“It is an insult for anyone to claim that our people killed their own especially if you listen to the eyewitness account of the aged woman who saw the killing here in Mbalom, it is sad.
“And for all those who will collect money to harbour killer herdsmen, they will all die first.
“I appeal to politicians, do your politics which is a noble profession, use it to development the people and society. Don’t sell your people in the name of politics. Stop telling lies against your own for political gains.
“It is regrettable that our people are still taking refuge in IDP camps and nobody is helping them but they prefer to talk nonsense.
“It is painful that one of the slain Priests, Rev. Fr. Tyolaha was earlier sent packing from Yogbo by herdsmen only for him to be killed here in Mbalom by same herdsmen. As the fourth largest ethnic group in this country, the Tiv cannot boast of any meaningful political position in this country in the last three and half years and you claim you are playing politics.
“For those misleading our people our nine days prayers preceding this Mass has taken care of them. No matter what they did or what they give you, they wasting their time.
“There is an orchestrated plan to Islamize this country and you people are there talking of money, what for. Now, as far as I am concerned, I’ll talk against it and say it and preach against it until my life is over but I will do my level best.”