Ortom to Buhari: Declare herdsmen in Benue as terrorists now

File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari recieves Benue State Goverrnor, Samuel Ortom.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Saturday told President Muhammadu Buhari to declare armed Fulani herdsmen killing innocent people in the communities of in the state as terrorists.

The governor’s call was coming after the incessant herdsmen attacks on different communities of the state in the last couple of months.

The latest of such attacks took place Friday night at Tse-Chembe community near Anyiin in Logo Local Government Area of the state, where the herders murdered seven persons in cold blood and left many others badly injured.

Ortom, who condemned the invasion and killings, described the situation as unacceptable.

He alleged “Benue State has a law which prohibits open grazing of livestock, and stresses that only a terrorist group would deliberately choose to violate the legislation as Fulani herdsmen have done since the law was enacted in 2017.”

The governor added that “declaring the armed herders operating in Benue State as terrorists will end the wave of impunity and guarantee the rule of law.”

He called on people of the state, especially those living in the affected areas to report any suspicious persons to security agencies.

Ortom commended “officers and men of Operation Whirl Stroke for their prompt responses to distress calls, particularly that of yesterday when the people of Tse-Chembe came under herdsmen’s attacks.”

He reassured Benue people that his administration would “not surrender the state to criminal elements, be they herdsmen or any other group.”

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said “no amount of threats and attacks will stop the enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.”