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Buhari To Visit Benue On Monday

President Muhammadu Buhari will visit Benue State on Monday to commiserate with the people over the herdsmen attacks, Governor Samuel Ortom said yesterday.

The governor added that three herdsmen had been convicted for violating the Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.

Ortom, who spoke during a meeting of the State Working Committee (SWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said over 100 herdsmen had been arrested for contravening the law. He added that security agencies have also promised to help enforce implementation of the ranching law.

According to Ortom, Fulani herdsmen causing problems were enemies of the APC and Nigerians. He called for the arrest and prosecution of leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and others Fulani groups for their inflammatory statements.

State APC Chairman Abba Yaro pledged the party’s continued support for the Ortom-led administration, saying his resilience and steadfastness in the wake of attacks was laudable.

Ortom said herdsmen attacks on the state poses a big threat to food security.

He spoke at the Government House in Makurdi when the presidential committee on rehabilitation of communities affected by farmers/herdsmen crisis visited him.

Ortom lamented that renewed attacks on Benue communities came at a time farmers were harvesting, and so crop seeds were used as feed for cattle after invading and displacing farmers.

The governor worried that people were still in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps when land preparation for the next cropping season was approaching. He described it as a sign of famine.

The governor, who urged the committee to amplify the need for ranching as the best method of animal husbandry, described happenings in the state as an “invasion of occupation and not grazing” as alleged in some quarters.

He wondered which hate speech could be worse than issuing threats of attacks and executing same.

Leader of the delegation and Director of Relief and Rehabilitation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, said they were in the state to carry out an assessment of damages in communities with a view to rebuilding them.

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