- Governor Samuel Ortom has decried the continued attacks by suspected herdsmen in Benue state
- The governor said over N400 billion has been lost from the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the state
- He also called for an apology from the minister of defence over the ongoing killings in various states in the Middle Belt
The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday, June 12, said that the state has lost over N400 billion to herdsmen attacks since 2015.
Ortom said the estimate was gotten from the preliminary report of an assessment on damage caused by the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Benue state.
Speaking in Makurdi, Ortom said the loss from these attacks is much and difficult to recover from, Vanguard reports.
The governor said: “Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 was the people’s legislation and no amount of intimidation and blackmail would make them repeal it.
“For me, I have no regret whatsoever concerning the enactment and implementation of the law. Why should I have any regret doing the will of my people? They trusted me and gave me their votes and I will not betray what they want. I’m doing what they want and I’ve no regrets.”
Commending other governors from Ekiti, Taraba and Abia states, Ortom said keying into the anti-grazing law is the right thing to have done.
He also appealed to Nigerians with a better alternative to bring it on the table to find a lasting solution to farmers and herdsmen crisis in the country.
Governor Ortom also urged the minister of defence, Masur Dani-Ali, to apologise on remarks made over the enactment of anti-grazing law in Benue state.
He said the minister should also be able to tell Nigerians why there are killings in Zamfara, his home state, and other states of Nigeria like Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau, Enugu, Kogi, among others, where there are no anti-open grazing law.
“I am waiting for the minister to come out and apologise to Nigerians over his recent comments, calling for the suspension of the law which is blamed for the killings in the country," Ortom said.
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Ortom said 18 local government area in the state are under attack by suspected herdsmen.
The governor said only three out of the 23 local government areas in Benue are free from herdsmen invasion and attack. He said he regrets the continued onslaught against his people from some armed herders and also called for vigilance in among residents of the state.
Nigerian herdsmen vs Nigerian farmers - on NAIJ.com TV