* Akume, Suswam, Ayu, Gemade unite for peace
George Okoh in Makurdi
As part of measures to step up the level of security in Benue State, stakeholders drawn from Benue North East and West senatorial districts yesterday endorsed the formation of committees at the family, ward and district levels to assist security agencies in guaranteeing the safety of lives and property in the state.
The stakeholders, who met yesterday at Benue Peoples House in Makurdi, commended the proactive steps taken by the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, in fighting crimes in the state.
They stated that the security committees would fast-track intelligence gathering at the grassroots where most of those who perpetrate crimes and cause crises among the people reside.
Ortom, while briefing journalists shortly after the meeting, directed immediate revival of monthly security meetings at the local government level to support the police and other security operatives with timely and useful information.
The governor announced the suspension of five traditional rulers, comprising two district heads and three kindred heads, for alleged complicity in land related disputes in their domains.
The District Head of Uvir Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area, James Abu, who was among those suspended, was immediately handed over to the police for prosecution.
Others suspended were the District Head of Ikov, Samuel Iorhule; Kindred Head of Shilagh, Joseph Yar; Kindred Head of Uninge, Aanger Ortese, and Samuel Ayayo, who is the Kindred Head of Unyande.
Ortom stated that leaders, irrespective of political affiliation, had resolved to unite against land disputes and other forms of crises, saying they had resolved to also provide the desired leadership direction for the people.
Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse; Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume; Senators representing Benue North West and Benue North East senatorial districts, Gabriel Suswam and Orker Jev respectively, as well as former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, and Senator Barnabas Gemade were part of the meeting.
Others in attendance were members of the House of Representatives from Benue North East and West, state House of Assembly members led by the Speaker, Rt. Titus Uba; religious and traditional leaders.