“Benue Anti-Grazing Law” Governor Samuel Ortom has alleged of a fresh plot to attack Benue, claiming influx of over one million cattle since the launch of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in the state by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
Taking the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr. Paul Enenche and his wife, Becky, on a tour of the grave of the 73 victims killed on New Year Day by suspected herdsmen in Makurdi yesterday, the governor appealed to the military to flush out the invaders so that the over 160,000 displaced persons, spread across eight camps, could return home.
According to him, more than 60 people had been killed since the mass burial on January 11, 2018 with three of the victims murdered just last week in Guma council area.
Enenche, who anointed the land to signify the breaking of its yoke, declared that the burial connotes the internment of government, security failure, impunity, Jihadist agenda and all forms of evil in the country.
He prayed for God’s judgment, asking the earth to rise up against the killers and their sponsors.
However, Ortom urged troops deployed to give vent to the military exercise to assist in the implementation of the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
He made the appeal when he received principal officers of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Kimbi, during a courtesy call on him at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi.
The governor challenged the military on the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of the killings in the state and parts of the federation.
He appealed to policy makers to adopt international best practices in animal husbandry in line with the realities of the 21st Century.
Ortom commended the university for delivering on its mandate in turning out graduates in various fields but urged that attention should be given to practical aspects of agriculture.
He said the State Ministry of Works was considering the request to repair Uniagric road.
The delegation sympathised with the governor on the current security challenges in the state and donated relief materials to the displaced.
The vice chancellor requested for the rehabilitation of the road leading to the institution, particularly the three major bridges therein.