- The federal government has been called upon to upgrade the military exercise in Benue state
- According to Governor Samuel Ortom, about fifty communities in the state have been taken over by herdsmen
- He lamented that attacks are still ongoing and the state IDPs camps are welcoming more victims everyday
Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, has pleaded with federal government to upgrade the Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatuma or Cat Race to a full military operation to effectively check the ongoing killings in the state’s rural communities.
Vanguard reports that Ortom, who made this statements on Monday, March 19, while inspecting four Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs) camps at Abagena in Makurdi, said full army presence in the state may help to prevent the attacks.
He said: “With the magnitude of crisis we have at hand, given the ongoing killings, despite the ongoing Exercise Ayem A’ Kpatuma, we appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to convert the exercise to a full military operation to chase out the killer herdsmen from our communities.
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“I know that the rules of engagement in an exercise and operation are completely different, that is why we are demanding a full military operation in Benue state to check these killings and to ensure that the displaced persons, who are over 170,000, returned to their homes.
“There is so much fear in the people as more than 50 communities in Guma, Logo, Makurdi, Agatu and Gwer West local government areas have been affected by the crisis and we are still counting because IDPs are still pouring into the camps because night attacks are still going on in these communities.
“I was told that about 150 herdsmen have been arrested in Benue by security personnel, some for violating the Open Grazing Prohibition Law and some of them were arrested for the killings in our communities."
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NAIJ.com earlier reported that armed men suspected to be herdsmen have unleashed terror in Kogi state killing 10 persons including a traditional ruler.
The attack was carried out on Monday, March 19. It was reported that the Onu Agbenema, Musa Edibo; and his wife were killed while several houses were burnt in separate attacks on Agbenema, Aj’Ichekpa, Opada and Iyade villages.
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