By George Okoh in Makurdi
Residents of Logo, Guma and Gwer Local Government Areas of Benue State have commended the joint Nigeria military operation Whirl Stroke for the return of peace and resettlement of thousands of displaced victims of suspected herdsmen attacks in the state.
This is even as the OPWS Commander Major General Adeyemi Yekini revealed that 145,000 displaced persons across Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states had returned to their ancestral homes.
According to the Chairman of Gwer West Local Government, Mr. Francis Ayaga and his Guma counterpart, Anthony Shawon who spoke with reporters yesterday, said that there was peace in their areas and many who were displaced by the Fulani invasion in their councils had returned home.
Ayaga said 33,000 of the 34,900 IDPs in his local government had returned to their ancestral homes but Shawon who could not give the exact number of returnees however said that no part of the council area was occupied by herdsmen but added that the herdsmen terrorising the council area come from Nasarawa State.
Ayaga said, “In Gwer West 34,951 persons were displaced from their homes, most of them were in Naka but with the help of the troops, 33,000 have returned home though it’s not easy for them because most of the homeless guys are staying in shades.
“But because the major occupation in the local government is farming, they have no option but to go back to their homes.”
A number of residents spoken to also expressed joy with the effort of the military in bringing about peace in the areas.
According to a resident in Logo, Mr. Terver Suswam, almost all the residents of Jooter had returned back home, “As you can see we are back to our farms and we thank the military for the protection.“