The Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, yesterday directed security agents to ensure the exit of Fulani herdsmen from Buruku and Gboko Local Government Areas as a result of recent security breaches.
Speaking while receiving the reports of 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, the Governor also requested them to arrest those of the responsible for killings in the areas.
Ortom 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.
Ortom said after hearing statements from both sides, it was clear that casualties came only from the side of the invaded communities.
The governor 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.
He also donated relief materials comprising foodstuff and mattresses to some of those displaced.
Ortom 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 or Zamfara experience in Benue State.
“There is no land for grazing in Benue State that’s why I keep emphasising that ranching which is the best global practice remains the permanent solution to the farmers, herders clashes,” he said.
He enjoined the people not to resort to self-help which he said would result in more unpleasant consequences but rather report infringements on their rights to security agencies for action.