The governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare the set of armed Fulani herdsmen killing innocent people in communities across the state as first class terrorists.
Governor Ortom made the plea following the repetition of attacks on various communities of the ‘Food Basket’ state in recent times by the armed Fulani herdsmen.
Information gathered reveals that the most recent of of such attacks occurred on Friday night at Tse-Chembe community, near Anyiin in Logo Local Government Area where armed herdsmen gruesomely killed armless persons and left so many others with severe injuries.
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In a statement signed by Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary to the Benue state governor, which was made available to newsmen on Saturday, Ortom condemned the acts of the herdsmen and described the situation as unacceptable.
Ortom emphasised that the state has appropriate laws that forbid open grazing of livestock, while stressing that only a terrorist group like the armed Fulani herdsmen would deliberately decide to go against the legislation.
He stated that the violation of the state’s open grazing laws have been persistently repeated by the armed herdsmen since 2017.
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Ortom stated that the declaration of the armed bandits as terrorists by the presidency will put an end to the of impunity and also guarantee the rule of law.
The governor demanded for people living in major affected communities to report all suspicious individuals especially strangers to security personnel.
However, Ortom commended the efforts of security operatives especially the men of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) for promptly responding to distress calls, particularly in the attack of Friday night in Tse-Chembe.
Governor Ortom reassured the people of Benue state that he will never deliver the state to any form of criminal elements or group.
He further promised that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the State will be enforced no matter the amount of threat he faces.