The governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday, May 3, appeared before the members of the state House of Assembly to brief the lawmakers on the on-going attacks on rural communities saying 18 local governments have so far been affected.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor, whose appearance was in obedience to a summon issued on Tuesday, May 1, told the lawmakers that 18 local government areas were hit by the incessant attacks that had claimed several lives and displaced close to a million.
The governor lamented that the violence had displaced many Benue residents, and vowed to work toward ridding the state of the bandits.
The report said on the cause of the attacks, Ortom said that many reasons were being deduced with many people blaming the violence people pursuing a religious agenda.
“Others say that it is an extension of the Boko Haram insurgency while some say that the attacks are being masterminded by herdsmen seeking land,” he said adding that those involved in the attacks would soon be arrested and appropriately punished.
Ortom was reported as saying that government had provided support for security agencies to enable them apprehend the perpetrators so as to the carnage.
The governor was said to have disclosed that the federal government had deployed 1,000 military personnel and other security agents to Benue to end the crises after he briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the violence.
Ortom, however, insisted that there was no going back on the anti-open grazing law.
“We can only drop the law if someone comes with an alternative that is a better solution to the problems we are facing,” he said adding that he was ready to embrace any suggestion toward solving the farmers/herdsmen clashes, and advised cattle breeders to adopt modern practices of animal husbandry.
Earlier, the speaker of the House, Terkimbi Ikyange, told the governor that the efforts made to end the crisis were not yielding the desired fruits.
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Ikyange also urged the governor to adopt more proactive ways toward ending the crisis, saying that the lawmakers would continue to summon him for periodic briefings on the security situation in Benue.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Governor Samuel Ortom recently condemned renewed attacks on the people of the state by suspected herdsmen.
Speaking in a statement by his media adviser, Tahav Agerzua, the governor described the fresh attacks as barbaric, inhuman and unacceptable. He called on security agencies to be proactive in stopping further attacks in the state.
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