Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Ortom Orders Herdsmen Out Of Benue

Following recent security breaches in some parts of the state, the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, directed security agents to ensure the exit of Fulani herdsmen out of Buruku and Gboko local government areas.

He also requested them to arrest those responsible for the recurring killings in the areas.
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 killed six people in Igyorov council ward of Gboko.

He said 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 Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama, after visiting the trouble spots.
He lamented what he described as the cold blooded murder of residents in the affected areas, saying it was clear that farming and grazing were incompatible.

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.
He urged the 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 described as a repeat of the 2013 attacks that left in their trail wanton loss of lives and property 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. 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.

In his remarks, the Sole Administrator of Logo Local Government Area, Mr. Mfaga Usula, appealed to both parties to use dialogue in resolving conflicts, noting that the strategy had helped him greatly in resolving disputes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in his domain.
Also speaking, his Buruku Local Government Area counterpart, Mrs. Justina Sorkaa, said eight people were killed by the invaders while indigenes of Binev, Mbatirkyaa and Mbakyongo, have been displaced, and therefore appealed for assistance to cater for the victims.

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.
Meanwhile, in a resolution yesterday, the House of Representatives directed a yet-be-constituted Ad hoc committee to invite heads of all relevant security agencies with a view to verifying what they had done on the alleged incessant attacks by herdsmen.
The House further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently institute a Presidential Task Force to disarm all herdsmen in Buruku Federal Constituency, other parts of Benue state, and throughout the country.

The House, which had passed several resolutions on herdsmen attacks, also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send food and other relief materials to the affected communities, as it condemned the persistent invasion and attacks on Benue communities by armed herdsmen.
This followed a motion sponsored by Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Emmanuel Orker-Jev, and 10 of his colleagues from Benue state, expressing dismay on the “massive and violent invasion, on 9 March 2017, of communities in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue state.”

Orker-Jev, who moved the motion on behalf of others, said the people of Buruku are largely farmers, fishermen and rural community people with simple and subsistence livelihoods, and dependent on the natural habitat in their communities. He said on Friday, March 10, 2017, the invading herdsmen became violent and destructive, created fear and tension which forced residents of most communities in Binev Council Ward to flee their homes.

“On Saturday, March 11, 2017, the marauding herdsmen started indiscriminate attacks and killings of anybody they encountered around the communities of Ber Awuna, Dogo, Ortese – Mbashian, Tse Igyu, Tse Gebe, Anbighir, Tse Iwa, Gbaikyo, Agudu, Nyorum, Shonto and Abuku in three major kindred of Mbade, Mbagoho, Mbashian, Mbaboor and Wuav,” the lawmaker lamented.
Members, who contributed to the debate, including Bashir Babale, Mark Gbillah and Herman Hembe, said it was time the federal government took a decisive action against the recurring incidences of herdsmen’s attacks.

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