Governor Samuel Ortom
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday, told the Internally Displaced Persons, who were displaced due to Fulani herdsmen attacks, to go back home and use stones to defend themselves.
This, he said, was because he was tired of keeping IDPs in Camps. Ortom explained that killings in the state had become one too many to such an extent that people were running from their homes.
The governor said this during his visit to the displaced persons who were forced to flee their homes after armed herdsmen attacked Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State.
Ortom stated that the killings were becoming uncontrollable and charged them to embrace self-defence.
He said, “David in the Bible used ordinary stone to defeat his enemy, it is now time for you to stay at home and use the stone in your homes to defend yourself instead of running away.
“I believe in the rule of law, equity and fairness, but I cannot continue to keep IDPs and l can’t afford to have another IDPs in Gwer West. This must stop. We must stop truncating the future of our younger generation.
“When we allow laws to be violated and nobody takes action, it then allows for impunity and when you give room to impunity, it will result to anarchy which will in turn breed a lawless society.
“Therefore, we the citizens must rise up to support the security agencies by way of providing lawful and necessary logistics such as information, equipment and financial support to back up their operations.
“Just yesterday (Monday), a soldier was killed in Guma, security agents are not spared. Security challenges are enormous. The gruesome murder of 24 people by Fulani herdsmen is quite condemnable.
“Time has come if you are willing to live in Benue State, you must be ready and willing to be law abiding.”
The governor said that the state government was working with traditional rulers and other necessary organs of government to strengthen the vigilante team so as to give it full legal backing that would enable the group to assist the security personnel in curbing criminal activities in the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of Gwer West Local Government Council, Francis Iyanga, had disclosed that more than 22 persons were killed while seven others were injured during the attack on the communities.
According to him, GwerWest has been at the receiving end of herdsmen attacks, revealing that in 2014, Fulani herdsmen applied chemicals on every water point in the area which killed hundreds of people and blocked the only road that linked the local government with the state capital for more than four months.
According to him, he has been able to identify some of the herdsmen with their phone numbers which have been submitted to security agents for necessary action.
Iyanga, who disclosed that several people in 10 council wards of the LGA had been displaced, called for the cooperation of the security personnel to enable the people to go back to their homes.
In his remark, Ter Nagi, Chief Daniel Abomtse, said the people of the LGA had experienced 24 attacks from herdsmen leaving more than 412 dead.
He disclosed that criminals and herdsmen had taken over the Makurdi/Naka and Adoka Road thereby making the road impassable for commuters and allowing herdsmen to graze openly on farms.
“Just yesterday, a lady plying the road was kidnapped and Fulani took over the road after killing 24 people,” Abomtse stated.
Abomtse maintained that soldiers should be permanently stationed on Naka Road.
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