Tuesday, 14 March 2017

ENSURE EXIT OF FULANI HERDSMEN FROM BURUKU, GBOKO - ORTOM DIRECTS SECURITY AGENCIES


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday directed security agents to ensure the exit of Fulani herdsmen out of Buruku and Gboko local government areas as a result of recent security breaches.



He also requested them to arrest those of them responsible for killings in the areas.

Governor Ortom received reports after an on the spot security and humanitarian assessment tour of Logo and communities in Mbalagh part of Buruku local government area that the invaders had killed six people in Igyorov council ward of Gboko.

He said the communities in the affected areas told him they had no grazing land.

The Governor gave the directives to the Commanding Officer of the 72 Special Forces Battalion, Colonel Nura Muhammad Inuwa, and the State Police Commissioner, Mr Bashir Makama, after on the spot visits to trouble spots in Logo and Buruku local government areas.

He lamented what he described as the cold blooded murder of residents in parts of Buruku and Gboko local government areas saying it was clear that farming and grazing were incompatible.

He said after hearing statements from both sides it was clear that casualties came only from the side of the invaded communities.

Governor Ortom urged the security agencies to live up to their responsibilities of securing life and property in the state and arresting those responsible for the killings.

According to him the security agencies have assured him that by weekend the invaders would be flushed out and the displaced would return to their ancestral homes.

The Governor also donated relief materials comprising foodstuff and mattresses to some of those displaced.

He urged the State House of Assembly to expedite action on the anti-grazing bill to pass it into law as a response to the renewed attacks on farmers by Fulani herdsmen in the state.

The Governor appealed to the Assembly to suspend action on the state budget if necessary in order to concentrate and complete action on the bill.

He also appealed to the federal government to act fast in coming to the aid of the state in stemming the current menace which he said was a repeat of the 2013 attacks that left in their trail widespread loss of lives and destruction across the state.

"The federal government has been too quiet on this matter for too long, it must act fast to avoid another Southern Kaduna, another Zamfara experience in Benue," he stated.

"There is no land for grazing in Benue State that's why I keep emphasizing that ranching which is the best global practice remains the permanent solution to the farmers, herders clashes."

He enjoined the people not to resort to self help which he said would result into more unpleasant consequences but rather report infringements on their rights to security agencies for action.

Sole Administrator of Logo Local government area, Mr Mfaga Usula, appealed to both parties to use dialogue to resolve conflicts saying the strategy had helped him greatly in resolving disputes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in his council area.

His Buruku local government area counterpart, Mrs. Justina Sorkaa, stated that eight people were killed by the invaders while indigenes of Binev, Mbatirkyaa and Mbakyongo have been displaced and appealed for assistance to cater for the affected.

Ter Logo, Chief Jimmy Meeme, and Tor Jemgbagh, commended the Governor for his concern and prompt response to tackle the crises and appealed for quick passage of the anti-grazing bill.

By Tahav Agerzua

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