Thursday, 11 January 2018

Ortom adamant: Cattle colonies, grazing reserves unacceptable

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has again rejected the suggestion that the state create  Cattle Colony or Grazing Routes for herdsmen.
He said the suggestions were not acceptable to the Benue people.
Ortom stated this on Thursday in Makurdi in a service to mark the mass burial of the victims of the herdsmen invasion.
He had stated this position on Wednesday at a stakeholders meeting attended by the Inspector General of Police. Idris Ibrahim.
On Thursday, he  said since the state did  not even have adequate land for farmers, it did  not have the space to  give  herdsmen for grazing.
He insisted on ranching, saying “it is the best way to go and it is in conformity with global best practices”.
Ortom said that if the recent killings by herdsmen were meant to intimidate the state government to repeal the law, the herdsmen  had failed woefully.
He also blamed the  killings of Benue indigenes on the  silence of the Federal Government and others responsible for the security of lives and property, an accusation he also made on Wednesday.
Ortom lamented that if the Federal Government had acted on the reports he gave it concerning the threats of attacks by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the killings would have been averted.
He urged the Federal Government to arrest the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore because they had severally made inciting  statements against the state.
He, therefore, stated that the recent killings were a pointer to the fact that they had threatened and executed their devilish threats.
He condoled with the families of the slain victims and those that were injured as well as those that lost their property.
Also, the CAN Chairman, Rev. Akpen Leva, urged Benue citizens to unite irrespective of tribe, political and religious differences in order to tackle their enemies.
Leva described the attack as a “genocide” that was targeted at exterminating the Tiv’s.
Former Military Governor, Katsina State, Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd) also described the attacks  as “a conspiracy against the indigenes” and said it would be resisted.
Also in a funeral eulogy, Sen. Joseph Waku, said the state has  had enough of the senseless killings saying ”enough is enough”.
One of the survivors, Mr Akaater Azera, said that the herdsmen came in the night while they were asleep and started shooting sporadically.
According to him, when his wife came out, the gun totting men shot and killed her on the spot.
Azera added that when he ran out of the house, he was pursued, with machete cuts  inflicted on his face  and leg. (NAN)



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