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Fulani herdsmen attacks: 12 Benue communities still under siege in Benue ―Ortom – Tribune NewsPaper

The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom on Friday, disclosed that apart from the Agatu community, twelve other communities of the 23 communities in the State are still under siege.

He said this was due to the killings perpetrated by the rampaging Fulani herdsmen in the State.

The governor spoke when he received the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, in Makurdi, Benue State.

Ortom, who defended the newly passed anti-open grazing in the state, said the bill was put to public hearing and unanimously supported by all citizens of the state.

“Coming at a time that Benue State House of Assembly passed the anti-open grazing bill speaks volume and goes to confirm that we will receive support from all the Christian community in Nigeria.

“What you see in that bill is a decision not just of the Governor, or the speaker or members of the Benue State House of Assembly, but the decision of Benue State because the bill was subjected to public hearing and the people were unanimous.

“Benue State has twenty three local government. But twelve local government have been under siege by the Fulani herdsmen. Benue state was completely under siege for two years. It is not a crime that God gave us a green land and as we are known as the food basket of the nation, we are not going to farm in the air or on the sea, or any other place, it is on land.

“There is no way we can compete with grazing. It is impossible for grazing to go along side with farming. And for several years we have pleaded either the herdsmen but they continued killing.

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“Even before I became governor, the lasting solution to the constant clashes between farmers /herdsmen clashes is ranching, that is what the Bill passed at the National Assembly is saying.

“The increase in human activities, road networks, markets and other things, the completion for land is kind. It is unreasonable to think that grazing will continue in Nigeria.

“It is amazing that when you go to the nation’s capital, cattle were freely interfering with traffic in Abuja. I think it is high time.

“They should rare their cattle in a civilised way and it must be regulated. In Benue State you must abide by the law otherwise flouting it will land you in jail.

“This year will be the last year where our people will be harassed ‎and chased out of their communities.”

Earlier, the CAN President, called for mutual respect as key to ensuring peaceful co-existence.

He warned against continuous attacks saying; “The situation where the offender is treated like a sacred cow is so provocative and unacceptable and there is a proposition in psychology that says that an instigation to aggression depends on the degree of frustration. If you continue to frustrate people, they can become very aggressive.

“Therefore, we don’t want any group of professional people whether herdsmen or any other men to provoke others to anger that may end up in a big war in this nation. We are saying this because violence is not a monopoly of any ethnic group, if the government continues to look at the herdsmen and allows them to be rampaging everywhere killing others, the way the herdsmen got their ammunition, the rest of us will also get it.”

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He further stated that; “The issue on ground is not about hatred for any group of people, we need to learn to live together in peace in this country but if we must do the pilgrimage together there must be justice, fairness and there must be mutual respect for one another.

“If you respect me, you will not take your cattle to go and mess up my farm because you know my life depends on the farm and if I respect you I will not steal your cow so there must be respect for one another in order to ensure peaceful co-existence and it is also the duty of the government when any group of people in this nation is crossing borders, breaking laws to quickly come in and bring offenders to book. Before we get to a state of complete disorder in government should rise up to its responsibility, not only to arrest offenders but conclusively prosecute them so that others will sit right.”

The post Fulani herdsmen attacks: 12 Benue communities still under siege in Benue ―Ortom appeared first on Tribune.

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