Buhari, Ortom in crucial meeting over Benue killings

Hannah Rogers
January 13, 2018

Fighting has been particularly heavy in Benue state, where 80 people have been killed and 80,000 displaced.

According to him, Nigerians are calling on the President to raise his performance as 2019 general election approaches.

After a wave of attacks in Benue, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to relocate to the state until full restoration of normalcy is achieved.

Mr. Ortom said the refusal of the security agencies to act and their lackadaisical attitude on the matter led to the mayhem of January 1.

He said, "On the Global Terrorism Index, Fulani militant group (herdsmen) operating in Nigeria and parts of the Central African Republic is the fourth deadliest known terrorist group".

The police in Benue are holding back on their offensive against suspected killer herdsmen on rampage across the North-Central state, saying they would prioritise an immediate succour and enduring tranquillity for the affected communities instead.

The attacks in Benue have been seen as a response by the mainly nomadic herders to the introduction of a law banning open grazing in the state.

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Ortom said the suspected herdsmen had recently engaged the riot police in a gunfight, causing the death of the two policemen and leaving another policeman wounded. If they have the magic, we wish them well.

They also called on the federal government to commence the process of establishing ranches across the country as a panacea to farmers/herders clashes. "These clashes result from the encroachment of cattle on farmers' land".

"So it is free for everybody and that is the right way to go". The attackers left in their wake gory images of mutilated and sometimes decomposing bodies littering burnt and vandalised communities in Guma and Logo local government areas.

"Already, because of the communications we have been having when this incidents started, actions have been taken as directed by him". I believe that my request that the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, who has earlier threatened and I accused them directly; since June previous year I have been writing to the leadership of security agencies, that these people are a threat to our collective interest and they must be dealt with.

"I have been to that village myself", Mr. Makama said.

Fasehun, who noted that the present administration had to do more to win the confidence of Nigerians, said that governance has to do with service to the people. The arrest of a heavily armed militia by the army on the borders of Benue and Nasarawa states, who reportedly said they were sponsored by Benue State government, shows that some state governments have adopted a wrong solution to the problem and are actually aggravating it.

"We know that the continuity of this will create greater challenges". The killings have continued even as I talk with you.

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