By Omolola Pedro
Following renewed attacks by suspected herdsmen in Benue State communities, the state government has forthwith suspended the operations of the state’s livestock guard. The government had earlier established the Livestock Guard, as an outfit to ensure compliance with the state’s anti-open grazing law. According to the state’s governor, Samuel Ortom, the suspension is to last for two weeks and is expected to facilitate a reduction in the large influx of livestock into the state.
Governor Ortom said the move was part of the plan to make sure that the people, who had come with cattle had gone, so that residents could live peacefully. “We commend the security services for being proactive. We encourage our volunteer rangers to be of good behaviour. We condemn any unholy alliance of some of our youth to the rustling of the shepherds’ cattle. We condemn the actions of some traditional rulers and stakeholders, who are found to be willing, and charge the security services with arresting anyone involved in this act. No one should be harassed for doing their job. All those who collude with Fulani herders to engage in unholy acts must be held accountable.
“We appeal to politicians to be peaceful in their behaviour and to stop making inflammatory comments that could create chaos and lawlessness. I’m still governor until May 29th even if you’re elected, you haven’t been sworn in yet, so we must all obey the law. You have to be patient for the next six weeks while I’m out. You can revoke any law you want. We commend the President for his condolences to the people of Benue as well as the direct security services for apprehending the perpetrators of this act. The security services are obligated to implement this directive, and I am waiting to see measures piled up to stop the killing and bring peace to the state”, Ortom said.