A Pro-democracy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has faulted the Department of State Services (DSS) over claims that the Islamic State terrorists were behind the Benue killings.
It said the allegation coming barely 24 months after the international media reported the affiliation of the break-away faction of the Boko Haram sect with the then Iraq and Syria-based global terror network was unwarranted and suspicious.
The rights group therefore tasked the Benue State government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry on the massacre, just as it asked the National Assembly to organise a transparent, open and an independent investigation of the killings.
HURIWA enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig his team to reflect federal character and bring to end the dominance of all the strategic national security agencies by persons from one ethno -religious divide.
The body said its findings showed that the latest claim by the Katsina-born head of the secret police, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, was a cover-up to bury the pogrom perpetrated by the herdsmen.
In a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA disagreed with the DSS because of what it calls “substantial circumstantial evidence linking some operatives of the Myetti Allah cattle owners’ body with the incidents following a series of threats to oppose and undermine the anti-open grazing law of Benue State made to the media immediately after the House of Assembly passed the legislation and was okayed by Governor Samuel Ortom.”