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Governor Ortom of Benue state.
By Nicholas Dechi
Governor. Samuel Ortom of Benue said herdsmen had killed over 20 persons between Monday and Tuesday in Guma and logo local government areas of the state.
Ortom disclosed this while briefing journalists on Tuesday in Makurdi after the State Security Meeting.
He said that out of the number, nine were Livestock Guards who were to ensure the full implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law.
He said that the law was not targeted at any ethnic group and wondered why the herdsmen had taken it so personal to the point of unleashing terror on the people.
The governor also lamented the unwarranted wanton destruction of lives and prope rty by the herdsmen.
He said that no matter the intimidation and killings by the herdsmen, the law would not be reversed or repealed.
He assured that the law must be implemented to the latter and anybody or group of persons that flouted it would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Ortom called on the Federal Government to wade into the matter so as to avert further destruction of lives and property.
Dr Gajir Tsoho of the Surgical Department, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, said over 30 injured victims of the herdsmen attack were brought to the hospital and were receiving treatment. (NAN)
Meanwhile, the PDP has condemned the Benue attack. A News Agency of Nigeria Reporter, Bridget Ikyado, says
the PDP Publicity Secretary in Benue, Mr Bemgba Iortyom has called on the Federal Government to grade the situation in the state on same level with the menace of Boko Haram insurgency and give it a commensurate security attention.
The secretary said in a statement in Makurdi: “Once again, heavily armed gunmen on Jan. 2, unleashed violence and mayhem on some rural communities in Benue.
“This time in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas (LGAs), killing a yet to be determined number of peasant farmers, women, children and the aged inclusive.
“The assailants also visited arson on property of the locals on a massive scale which is also yet to be estimated in terms of monetary value.
“The Benue Chapter of the PDP totally condemns this barbaric act which qualifies by every standard as terrorism employed in the pursuit of an agenda which is genocide in character,’’ it stated.
The party said it was in alignment with the position of Gov. Samuel Ortom that the Federal Government must move quickly to provide security to the people of the state as well as bring the perpetrators of the acts of criminality to book.
According to the PDP, gunmen violence against farmers should be graded on same level with menace of Boko Haram insurgency and treated with an equally commensurate degree of security attention.
“Evidence abound that the gunmen killing of Benue farmers, burning down their homes and destroying their farms, crops, farm produce and properties, do not differ from Boko Haram insurgents in mode and method of operation, as well as extent of impact and devastation on their victims.
“We also use this opportunity to reaffirm our support for the law prohibiting open grazing of livestock in Benue State as the surest antidote, both in the short and long terms, to the menace of gunmen attack in the state.
“We urge Gov. Ortom to explore broad-based and bi-partisan approaches involving all segments of the Benue community towards bolstering internal cooperation measures for the effectiveness and sustainability of the law,’’ the statement added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that about 20 persons were killed after some gunmen attacked communities in Guma and Logo LGAs on Tuesday. (NAN)