Herdsmen attacks: Ortom calls for harmony among ethnic groups

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has called for harmony among the diverse ethnic groups in the state to put an end to the seemingly endless attacks by herdsmen on communities.

Ortom, who said this on Saturday in Makurdi while intimating the people on the incessant attacks on Benue people by herdsmen, decried the huge loss of lives and property.

The governor said he would henceforth give priority attention to safeguarding the lives and the property of his people.

He called on the people to put aside their political and ethnic differences and work toward addressing the security challenges before them

He vowed to ensure that the incessant attacks by herdsmen became things of the past.

Ortom, who expressed regret that a significant number of lives had been destroyed by Fulani marauders since 2012, put the estimated cost of the property lost since then at N95 billion.

The Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, His Lordship, William Avenya, said the incessant attacks on Benue communities by herdsmen, was a sensitisation to the people of Benue to the need to unite and forge a common front.

The cleric further said the attacks were providing an opportunity for the people to come together and reflect on their common challenges particularly, insecurity.

He called all Benue stakeholders to all hands on deck to address the situation.

Also, the Catholic Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, His Lordship, Michael Apochi said they would continue to pray for the state to enable it surmount its security challenges.

The Convener, Northern Elders Forum, Mr Paul Unongo, said herdsmen were committing murder with impunity. He, however, said the “dastardly act” needed to stop forthwith.

Unongo said there was no land for grazing in Benue and that the anti-open grazing law would not be reversed or repealed no matter the circumstances.