Herdsmen Attacks: Benue State To Prohibit Open Grazing

herdsmen, herdsmen attacks, Benue State, GrazingThe Benue State Government has forwarded a bill to the State House of Assembly to outlaw and ban open grazing of cattle in the state in order to curb clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this to the people of Sankera in the Benue North East senatorial district at the ongoing state-wide town hall meetings to engage the people in participatory democracy.

Mr Ortom spoke to journalist shortly after the town hall meeting and explained that the move became necessary following the incessant herdsmen attacks and recent killing of over 10 persons in Logo and Ukum Local Government last week Saturday.

Mr Ortom, while responding to the demand for protection, disclosed that an executive bill prohibiting open grazing has been sent to the state assembly.

Governor Ortom also met with the Jemgbagh clan of old Gboko province, the Igede people of Oju and Obi council areas, where he held the former administration responsible for looting and plunging the state into indebtedness.

The Sankera people are known for large scale farming of rice and yam. They came together in Katsina-Ala to demand action from the federal and state government over the killing of their people.

Herdsmen Attacks: Benue Communities Demand 100bn Naira Compensation

Herdsmen AttacksRepresentatives of Benue communities are demanding the sum of 100 billion Naira as compensation for victims of suspected herdsmen attacks in Benue State.

They put up this demand at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs.

The one day public hearing was to look at the alarming influx of unidentified herdsmen into Benue State and the threat to life and property in the state.

Different community groups from the state, the Police IG and the Deputy Governor of Benue State gathered to make their contributions.

The efforts of the Police so far and the intervention of the federal government in combating the situation was on the front burner.

The committee heard from the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, who highlighted some of the steps being taken to address the crisis.

He said that they have apprehended some persons and investigations were ongoing.

While representatives of the community groups suggested how the situation can be managed, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu, also put forward the measures recommended by the state government towards resolving the issues.

The lawmakers sympathized with the people of Benue State and appealed to the representatives of the community groups to let peace reign while efforts are being by the government made to bring the situation under control.

Herdsmen Attacks: APC Governors Endorse Cattle Ranches

Herdsmen Attacks, APC Governors, Cattle RanchesThe Progressive Governor’s Forum on Thursday endorsed cattle ranching against the proposed grazing reserve areas, to minimize the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen across the country.

The APC governors arrived at the decision in Makurdi the Benue State capital where a delegation from the forum paid a solidarity visit to the Benue State Governor over the killings of farmers by armed herdsmen operating in the state.

Community and opinion leaders gathered to listen to the much need message of hope and ways of ending the armed herdsmen killings of Benue farmers in the villages.

The host governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, briefed the APC governors on the criminal activities of the herdsmen and lamented the inability of the security agencies to make a single arrest of the invaders.

Moved by the agonizing stories of how human lives were being wasted in the state, the APC governors, asked Nigerians to hold them responsible if the government fails to secure their lives.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha, said this as he warned against the consequences of ignoring the herdsmen attacks on Benue communities.

The Governor of Niger State, Abubarka Bello, also added the forum’s voice to the campaign for the establishment of ranches instead of the proposed grazing reserve areas.

He said that ranches will minimize frictions between farmers and herdsmen.

Before the visiting Progressive Governors left the state, Governor Ortom treated them to a change of clothes into the Benue unity attires to underscore the need for peace across the country.

Herdsmen Attacks: Olonisakin Assures Benue Residents Of Rehabilitation

Abayomi Olonisakin-Herdsmen-BenueThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has assured residents of communities in Beneu State ravaged by herdsmen attacks that government will rehabilitate their homes and property.

General Olonisakin also promised the people of Agatu community and other local government areas affected by the attacks that government would rebuild destroyed public utilities in their areas.

The pledge was made by the Director of Communities, Defence Headquarters, Major General Edward Nze, who represented the Chief of Defence Staff at a fact finding visit to Agatu and other local government areas.

Speaking at Buruku and Tarka, where many lives were lost in the wake of herdsmen attacks on Benue communities, he noted that the visit was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.

Major General Nze added that President Buhari had ordered that the perpetrators of the act must be sought out and destroyed.

In his reaction, the Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, urged the Federal Government to deal with this threat, which he described as ‘worse than the Boko Haram insurgency’.

“It is our belief that a very firm action should be taken, otherwise, we will run into a problem that is far worse than the Boko Haram.

“Therefore, the law should take its course and a very firm action should be taken to nip this in the bud,” he said.

Northern Governors Chide Persons Blaming Buhari For Nimbo Attack

Northern Governors forumThe Northern Governors Forum has condemned in strong terms attempts by some leaders from south-east Nigeria to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for a recent bloody attack on Ukpabi Nimbo community in Enugu State.

They also condemned an attempt to link Fulani herdsmen with the attack that left scores of people dead or similar attacks at other part of Nigeria.

In a communique read to reporters by the chairman of the forum and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, after a closed door meeting that lasted for over five hours, in Kaduna, the governors noted the danger of labeling the masterminds of the Enugu attack as Fulani herdsmen on account of religion or tribe.

The governors while condemning the recent attacks in Agatu community in Benue State and that of Enugu State, called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the attack in order to stop the dangerous generalisation or labelling certain tribe or people of certain faith as responsible for the attacks.

According to the Northern Governors Forum, linking the gunmen attacks to Fulani herdsmen, could cause mistrust and likely incite people of different tribes and faith who have lived together peacefully for decades.

The governors also supported the idea of building ranches and grazing routes for herdsmen, as a long term measure to address the frequent clashes between them and local farmers.

Critics had raised concerns over President Buhari’s silence on the alleged herdsmen attacks.

‘A Priority’

But the President on Wednesday reassured Nigerians of his administration’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.

According to a statement by President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, the President unreservedly condemned the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and other such acts of extreme violence against communities in other states of the Federation.

President Buhari, however, instructed the Nigerian Armed Forces and Police to take all necessary action to stop the killing, saying that ending the recent upsurge of attacks on communities by herdsmen reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons had become a priority on the government’s agenda for enhanced national security.

After the President issued the statement, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, faulted Buhari’s assurances and said it was unacceptable, as it failed to provide any reassurance for Nigerians.

“Neither, however, could be considered a message of solace and reassurance for the ordinary Nigerian farmer and the lengthening cast of victims, much less to an intending tourist to the Forest Retreat of Tinana in the Rivers, the Ikogosi Springs or the Moslem architectural heritage of the ancient city of Kano. In any case, the external tourists have less hazardous options,” Professor Soyinka stressed.

Professor Soyinka spoke at the National Conference on Culture and Tourism, in Osogbo, Osun State.

Agatu Indigenes Seek Government’s Intervention To Rebuild Town


Indigenes of the devastated Agatu community residing in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, are asking for the government’s intervention to rebuild and restore peace in the community.

The indigenes on Saturday, said that “the longer the situation is left unattended to, the more further reprisal attacks are likely to take place in the community”.

Although, they accused the Fulani herdsmen of invading and destroying communities in the area, the Fulani Cattle Breeders Association blamed cattle rustlers for the invasion.

The invaded Agatu community and other surrounding villages affected by the recent attacks lie along the coast of River Benue, bordering Nasarawa and Benue States.

Since the attacks, the communities have remained deserted with houses still in ruins.

Meanwhile, Benue State lawmakers in the House of Representatives had condemned the “lukewarm attitude” of the Federal Government towards the killings in the state.

Addressing reporters on behalf of the lawmakers in Abuja, Honourable Orker Jev, said that over 1,000 people had been killed and over 100 villages razed in Agatu area by armed herdsmen, who are yet to be apprehended by security forces.

It is hoped that both the Federal Government and the two State Governors will take urgent steps to address the issues raised with a view to preventing further crisis in Agatu community.

Residents Protest Herdsmen Attacks in Benue

Residents Protest Herdsmen Attack in BenueThe attacks on nine council areas of Benue State by herdsmen have continued to attract reactions from the Agatu community.

Civil rights activists and survivors of the attack have gone on a protest in Makurdi, the Benue State capital to air their grievances.

They are calling for the intervention of the state and federal authorities in the crisis.

The children of the community also joined their parents to protest against the violence which had left hundreds of people dead and others displaced.

One of the protesters accused the Benue State Police Command of bias, an allegation the Commissioner of Police denied.

“We invited the young man to this office and I told him (that) from the security information we had at hand, he should postpone this disposition until next week because hoodlums are going to catch down on the situation,” the Police Commissioner said.

As the residents of Agatu community drew attention to the situation to prevent re-occurrence, they also requested for the deployment of special security forces to maintain peace in Benue State in Nigeria’s central region.

Nine Dead In Renewed Agatu Community Attack

Ortom-BenueBenue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, today (Tuesday) confirmed the killing of nine indigenous farmers in a renewed attack on several Agatu communities by armed herdsmen dislodged by security forces on Sunday evening.

The attack lasted for over three hours, according to the Governor, who spoke to journalist shortly after inaugurating a committee on renewable energy.

He added that apart from the lives lost, a number of Agatu villages were burnt to the ground.

Governor Ortom assured the people of Agatu that he is working with the Nasarawa State government to ensure that the security threats is nipped in the bud.

Reps Want Army Deployed To Benue

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to immediately deploy a large number of military personnel to the crisis prone areas in Benue State.

This call was made in a bid to forestall further clashes between the Agatu community in Benue State and invading nomadic herdsmen.

The House of Reps’ move followed a motion sponsored by Adamu Entonu on ‘the need to stop the destruction of lives and properties in Agatu Local Government of Benue State’ where over 45 persons have been killed and over 150 homes destroyed.

The House has also urged the Federal Government to set up a panel to address the growing incidences of attacks on citizens of Agatu by nomadic herdsmen with a view to curbing it.‎