George Okoh in Makurdi
Benue state government has refuted claims in a section of the media that a herdsman reportedly committed suicide a few days ago, by jumping into River Benue as a result of the alleged loss of some of his cows in Logo local government area of the state.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the state Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, the report was the height of falsehood and one in a series of organised blackmail and propaganda against the state government.
He stated that â€œwe have read the unfounded report allegedly credited to one Garus Gololo, who is a member of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Benue State, that a cattle owner in Logo Local Government Area of the state a few days ago jumped into River Benue over the alleged loss of some of his cows.
â€œIn the same report, Gololo raised the alarm that Fulani cattle breeders have already lost over 600 cows in Benue State since the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law came into effect on November 1.
Â â€œThis alarm, is the height of falsehood and one, in a series of organised blackmail and propaganda by those who are opposed to the ranching law of Benue State.Â We have contacted the police and other security agencies but there is no confirmation that a cattle owner jumped into the river in Logo or any other part of Benue state and no 600 cows owned by herdsmen are missing.
Â â€œWe urge the public to disregard the report, we advise journalists covering Benue State to carry out a thorough investigation into sensitive matters of security before publishing their reports. This will reduce unnecessary tension in the society.
â€œThe Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law was enacted to end the frequent invasion of Benue communities and killing of innocent people by herdsmen and the law has been accepted locally and internationally as the best route to peace,â€ he clarified.