Benue Assembly Grills Ortom over Killings in State


George Okoh in Makurdi

The Benue State House of Assembly Thursday grilled the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, for several hours on the endless killings of residents of the state by suspected herdsmen

The assembly had last Wednesday summoned the governor to appear before it to brief the members how he has handled the killings in the state.

The governor, who appeared before the assembly with his aides, stated that the federal government has deployed more security men in the state.

According to him, a combined team of security agents have been deployed to contain herdsmen attacks on communities in the state.

Ortom explained that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was already in the state touring flashpoints, including Logo, Guma and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas with a view to flushing out the marauders.
The governor told the assembly that additional joint forces coordinated by the defence headquarters were in the state to address the security challenges.

He explained that the anti-open grazing law which was enacted in the state was as a result of the demand of the people of the state, adding that both the state government house and the assembly were occupied severally by protesters to have the ranching legislation passed.

The governor said following the passage of the ranching law and his assent, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore threatened him to resist the law, stressing that reports of such threats were presented to the presidency and security agencies but no action was taken until the attacks started on the January 1, 2018.

Ortom, however expressed optimism that with the present steps taken by the federal government, peace would soon return to the state.

While speaking on the recent arrest of the leader of Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku, the governor said he had allowed security agencies to do their investigation and come out with their findings.
He stated however that he inherited Tershaku as leader of the defunct Civilian Joint Taskforce for Benue and Nasarawa States, saying when Livestock Guards was formed, he decided to make Tershaku leader over it on account of his experience in security matters.

Ortom enjoined members of the assembly to talk to their constituents on the need to co-exist peacefully, saying it was uncalled for to have internal wrangling when the state is facing external aggression.