George Okoh in Makurdi
Barely 24 hours after the full implementation of the anti-open grazing law recently enacted by the Benue State government, suspected Fulani herdsmen yesterday killed one person, injuring one other while five persons have been declared missing in Gaambe-tiv area of Logo Local Government Area.
According to a resident of the area, Mr. Joseph Anawa, one Mr. Saater Kwaghdom, popularly known as â€˜Ortseâ€™ was shot by the marauding herders when he was going for fishing while another victim, Hingir Akaa Azemgbe, is currently responding to medical treatment from gunshot at Government Hospital Ayilamo, while other five have been declared missing.
A source revealed that the herders in their numbers have camped permanently in the hinterland, along the stretch banking river Benue, specifically at Agbesa village, otherwise called Gindin Mangoro, and are fully prepared with sophisticated weapons.
According to Anawa, they were alerted on the presence of massive arrival of strange Fulani herdsmen in Gaambe-tiev, Logo LGA. â€œThey have moved in thousands and settled in Ukemberagya/Tswarev council ward at Zaki Hemem, Tyo-Afia, Tse Gusa, Tse Agir, Ordughga Nagwa, Tsafa, Chia Orabum and Jootar axis.
In Mbagber ward, they are also at Gov-Uwev environ while in Tombo council ward they are at Azege, Anyibe and Fanu axis, we are appealing to the authorities concern to mobilise security to these border areas to curtail further carnage by these headsmen.
He said they appreciate the Security Adviser to the Governor who gave the directive to get Ortse Kwaghdom killers.
He called on the government to deploy massive security to the area as farmers are yet to harvest their crops which are being destroyed by cattle.
The accident is coming on the heel of the November first implementation of the prohibition of open grazing in Benue State.
In his speech, the Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom, called on all citizens who are into cattle or livestock business to abide by this law.
â€œThere is no more open grazing in Benue State. All those who are interested in doing livestock business must ranch their livestock, otherwise, the law will catch up with them. Let me appeal to all citizens to beNo one should take laws into his hands. We have put in place adequate machinery to enforce the lawâ€
He asked residents to report trespassers or infringements of the law rather than take law into their hands
He said the law seeks to protect farmers and herdsmen alike. â€œThe law seeks to ensure peace for all citizens and is not targeted at any individual or group of people or any ethnic group as all of us must team together and work to ensure the success of this lawâ€
He called for the adoption of the method of ranching which he said was the global best practice for all those in livestock business all over the world.
Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State Governor, has urged resident of the communities at the Nasarawa State border with Benue State to go about their normal daily businesses as the implementation of the anti-grazing law by the Benue State government has taken effect.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor of Nasarawa State, Musa Elayo, said Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura is fully aware of the tension at the border communities stressing that government is determined to ensure adequate security measures to forestall any eventualities.
The governor, however, appealed to the people at the affected areas not to do anything that would jeopardise the existing peaceful co-existence between the two states.
The statement further said Governor Al-Makura reiterated his commitment to ensuring the development of the state hence the need to stay in peace in respective of tribe and religions difference.
He called on the stakeholders of the affected areas to continue to dialogue and sensitise the residents particularly the youths and the fulani herdsmen on the need to embrace peace and avoid rumour mongering.
â€œAny person or groups who try to incite the people to cause disunity at the border communities would not be tolerated and any violation would be met with the full wrath of the law.