Ortom: Food Security is Threatened by Persistent Herdsmen Attack on Benue Communities

Samuel Ortom

George Okoh in Makurdi

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has stated that attacks on the state and other farming communities by Fulani herdsmen poses a threat to food security.

He stated this yesterday at the Government House, Makurdi during a courtesy call on him by the presidential committee on rehabilitation of communities affected by farmers and herdsmen crisis.

He stated that renewed attacks on Benue communities came at a time farmers were harvesting their produce, stressing that seed crops were being used as feeds for cattle after invading and displacing the farmers.

The governor expressed worry that people were still in IDPs camps when agricultural activities such as preparation of land for the next cropping season were approaching, saying it was a sign of famine.

While tasking the committee on amplification of the Benue voice for the need to embrace ranching as global best method of animal husbandry, the governor said what was happening in the state was an invasion for occupation and not grazing as being alleged in some quarters.

He wondered which hate speech could be worse than issuing threats of attacks and executing same.

Ortom called for the reconstruction of ravaged communities and provision of public amenities including portable drinking water, provision of agricultural inputs and credit facilities, adding that the attacks had caused social, emotional and psychological damage to Benue people.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and Director of Relief and Rehabilitation of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, said they were in the state to carry out an assessment of damages caused to communities with a view to rebuilding them.

He sympathised with the government and people of the state over the massacre of people by Fulani headsmen.