Security agencies in Plateau State are leaving no stone unturned towards achieving a hitch-free eid el fitri celebration with the deployment of security personnel across the state.
There was also a show of force across Jos and Bukuru metropolis by members of the joint security task force comprising of the Army, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Customs, Immigration, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Acting Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Brigadier General Abdulasalam Ibrahim, reminded the troops not to relent on their efforts of securing citizens particularly during the festive period in spite of embarking on the show of force.
In addition to the military show of force, the State Police Command has also placed a ban on the use and sales of fireworks with vehicles and tricycles not to be packed within praying grounds.
The use of motorcycles to worship centres is also prohibited as part of security measures for a hitch-free celebration.
The 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.
Victims of herdsmen attacks in Benue State have cried out against the killing of 18 persons and the poisoning of their community water sources.
The residents of Buruku, Logo and Kwande Logo Local Government Areas, who are mostly aged women and nursing mothers at the IDPs’ camps in Anyiin and Moon communities, made the claim when the Senator representing the area, Barnabas Gemade, donated relief materials to the camps.
Reacting to the killing and poisoning of water sources, Senator Gemade said that Benue lawmakers at the National Assembly had made certain demands from the Federal Government.
Buruku Community Leader, Mr Adzor Chamegh, told Channels Television that the communities had been deserted and abandoned by the residents for fear of herdsmen attacks.
He added that many of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) homes have been invaded and their kits and keen killed by armed herdsmen, which led to the establishment of the camps.
Kwande Community Leader, Helen Ikpambeseh, also asked the Federal Government to help rebuild their communities.
She lamented that while many of the nursing mothers grapple with difficult times to care for their little children, the aged IDPs suffer more from anxiety and health related crisis.
Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has presented 100 bags of rice and other relief items to IDPs in Benue State.
This comes as part of the President’s wife’s support for the victims of herdsmen attack in the state.
Mrs Buhari, who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, made the donation on Wednesday at the Agatu Indigenes Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp located at the Wadata area of Makurdi metropolis.
She assured the IDPs of high level engagement with the Federal Government to arrest the crisis, which has claimed hundreds of lives since it began on February 19.
Mrs Buhari sympathised with the IDPs and made a symbolic presentation of the items to underscore the reason for her visit.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and his wife, Mrs Eunice Ortom, compared the destruction carried out by the herdsmen to the war crimes in Nigeria’s northeast.
While Governor Ortom urged the Federal Government to restrain the herdsmen from Benue State, Mrs Ortom expressed her appreciation for the visit.
A representative of Buruku victims of the attacks, Adzor Chamegh, also gave details of the attack, including poisoning of water sources by the herdsmen.
The Benue State government has ordered the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association to produce the man responsible for Sunday killings in Buruku and Tarka local government areas.
Governor Samuel Ortom gave the directive at an emergency meeting with Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers from the affected areas where fighting broke out as a result of mischief created by a suspected Fulani man who is on the run.
Briefing the Governor on the situation, the secretary of the association, Garus Gololo, said that the suspect who caused the fresh violence threatened to create problems after they asked him to remove his sick animals from the grazing areas to prevent a spread of disease.
The Chairman of Buruku Local Government, Godwin Iorsue, who spoke for the Tiv community, said that intolerance and impatience with one another has been the reason for the frequent clashes.
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom, at a separate meeting with teachers during the opening ceremony of a 3-day teachers training in Gboko, said that over 400 schools destroyed by the Fulani-farmers crisis will be reconstructed.
Mr Ortom, who reiterated his resolve to improve education in the state, said that over 16,000 teachers will benefit from the training.
Public infrastructure like schools, hospitals and Police stations have been destroyed in the crisis, but Governor Ortom said that the 7.6 billion Naira education intervention fund would address all the education related problems.
Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) on Sunday declared the result of last Saturday’s local council polls with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) clinching 15 chairmanship seats out of the 23 councils in the state.
The councils won by the PDP include: Ohimini, Otukpo, Ushongu, Tarka, Buruku, Logo, Ado, Gwer-East, Gwer- West, Agatu, Konshisha, Ohimini, Okpokwu, Obi and Oju LGA.
But the BSIEC chief, Prof. Philip Ahire, told reporters in his office that results of the remaining eight local council areas were still being awaited adding that a comprehensive results of all the local council areas including councillorship would be collated and announced soon.