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The Unfortunate Reward for a Patriotic People 

Tersoo Zambe
Ever since the project Nigeria began, one cannot exactly point at a fault the people of Benue state made that caused the Nigerian Nation socio-economic set backs.
In other words, from time immemorial, the people of Benue state have fully supported National development initiatives.
As a middle belt state, Benue has ever provided the support base for the tripod-like arrangement of the North, West and East configuration of the country even before other zones were created.
For instance military personnel from the state contributed immensely in the civil war of 1967-1970.
The state has always taken sides with the government at the centre, a sign of loyalty and commitment to the Nigerian project of national Unity, peace, progress and development.
Even at intervals of provocations, the people have always sought the universally acceptable ways to address their challenges, unlike some places that went violent at slightest provocations.
In 2001 during Obasanjo’s administration, parts of Benue including Zaki Biam and environs were invaded by the nation’s military which ought to protect it’s citizens, but infamously killed the people, rendered some paralysed and destroyed homes and property worth billions of Naira.
The people went to court and won their case against the FG and were to be paid compensation to the tune of over 40 billion naira.
Even after the FG requested to settle out of court and pay 8 billion naira instead, years after, it appears the victims have not received their compensation.
Before then, a son of the state, Major Gideon Orkar who had a foresight of the challenges that would confront the nation, if steps were not taken, was executed for “wrong” approach to addressing the problems (coup plotting).
Indeed, he was killed a prophet because what he saw and took steps to correct, appears to be happening now.
Today, Benue citizens are being killed by suspected herdsmen as if they do not belong to this country.
Innocent farmers, children, pregnant women, the aged as well as their homes and property worth billions are being gruesomely murdered and razed.
And the peace loving people are calling for peace and tranquility, not emphasising compensation for their huge losses.
Today, the state will mass bury over 70 of its citizens killed in the New Year attacks on Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue.
This again, is yet another supreme price paid by Benue people.
One thing is certain, Benue will rise again, just as Israel has risen in the midst of her enemies.
I have a dream that one day, Nigerians will run to Benue for safety, protection and support.
I have a dream that one day, Benue will lead Nigeria aright.
Rest in peace fellow Compatriots.
You have indeed, won the battle for the living.
AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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