Hours after the Benue state government buried over 70 victims of the January 1 attacks by suspected herdsmen, the general overseer of the Living Faith Church also known as Winners Chapel, David Oyedepo, on Saturday morning condemned the killings.
His counterpart, fiery cleric, Paul Enenche of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, also asked the rampaging herdsmen to relocate to the dreaded Sambisa forest to feed their cattle rather than kill and maim innocent Nigerians in their bid to acquire land for grazing.
Over 70 persons were killed by suspected herdsmen who invaded five villages in Guma and Logo Local Governments on New Year’s Day while several others were injured.
Over 50, 000 have so far been displaced.
The government organised a mass burial for the deceased on Thursday, January 11, 2018.
Speaking in Ogun state on Saturday morning during the ‘One night with the King’ telecast across the nation, Mr. Oyedepo said although the country is not at war, there are some disgruntled elements bent on destabilising Nigeria.
“Where are the security agents? I have never made any sponsored speech before, you mean they can’t get the herdsmen arrested?” he said.
“I saw this coming, documented it because God confided in me. I saw it in May 23, 1982. Nigeria is in a state of slumber and the political bygones won’t say anything. They (politicians) are always looking for the next election whether people are dying or not,” he said.
Similarly, Mr. Enenche, an indigene of Benue state, on Friday in a live broadcast said it was sad that a ”group of people in Nigeria think they are working on the mentality of intelligent people,” in apparent reference to those believed to be sponsoring the killings.
He said it is wrong for people (herdsmen) to wander into ”other’s people farmland, destroy their land, kill them and ask for grazing land for free at government expense.”
According to Mr Enenche, no one has ever come from Oyo state to River state to ask for cocoa and making demands on the government to give him the cocoa free of charge at government expenses.
“That place where terrorists are camping, Sambisa forest has enough forest for anybody to do whatever they want to do but not the ancestral land of people’s families,” he said.
The visibly angry cleric, during the programme pronounced death sentence on anyone sponsoring the killer herdsmen.
“I want us to rise with brutality because there are a set people in this nation, who think they are working on the mentality of the intelligent people. Today, it may be Numan in Adamawa State and nobody said anything and then it moves to Southern Kaduna tomorrow and nobody said anything and then it is somewhere in Taraba or Birom land in Plateau and no one talks, then it shifts to Benue or Kogi then it goes to Anambra and Oyo and everybody is watching until the nation is gone. God forbid!
“Nobody has ever gone from Oyo State to Rivers to ask for free land to farm cocoa and making demand on the government to give it to them free of charge. Nobody has ever gone from Onitsha to Jos and ask for free land to sell his spare parts and asking government to pay for the land.
“So, why do people wander in people’s farmland, destroy their farms, kill their people and ask for grazing land free of charge. That devil is a bastard, it shall not happen,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported how a Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, in an essay titled ‘ Impunity Rides Again’ criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for the failure of his government to act decisively against Fulani herdsmen believed to be behind the recent killings of scores of people in communities across the nation.
Meanwhile the police commissioner in Benue State, Bashir Makama, a few hours after the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris was deployed by the president to address the insecurity in Benue state and neighbouring Nassarawa, where armed herdsmen also invaded informed PREMIUM TIMES that the police are, ”concentrating their energy and resources towards the safe return of recently displaced residents to their communities.
He said the police are holding back on their offensive against the suspected killer herdsmen.