Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State Tuesday alleged that suspected herders have killed more than 60 people in rural parts of the state between April and June this year alone. Ortom made the disclosure in a remark at the inauguration of the newly reconstructed Zaki-Biam Yam Market and the 200,000 capacity Yam Storage Facility built […]

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State Tuesday alleged that suspected herders have killed more than 60 people in rural parts of the state between April and June this year alone.

Ortom made the disclosure in a remark at the inauguration of the newly reconstructed Zaki-Biam Yam Market and the 200,000 capacity Yam Storage Facility built by the Federal Government in Ukum Local Government Area of the state by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“We are worried about the resurgence of armed Fulani herdsmen attacks on Benue people, especially in rural areas.

“Between April and June this year, over sixty (60) Benue people have been killed by herdsmen attackers across the State,” he said.

The governor, who congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for giant strides taken by the federal government in repositioning the nation’s economy, particularly the Economic Diversification Programme, stressed the need to end such attacks.

He suggested that: “As one of the ways to halt these attacks, we call on the federal government to stop the continued free entry of armed herdsmen from other countries into Nigeria.

“We believe the time has come for the federal government to revisit the protocol on the free movement of people among ECOWAS member countries.

“May we use this opportunity to also call on the federal government to arrest and prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah for their inciting statements and accepting the responsibility for the killing of Benue people and other innocent Nigerians.

“Benue State is ready to provide food security to the entire country but the activities of the Fulani herdsmen have continued to thwart this effort.”

Ortom recalled that during the vice president’s last visit to Benue State, he made a commitment to rebuild the communities ravaged by farmers/herders crises, saying that the people are still in Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camps and that they are eager to move back to their ancestral homes.

He maintained that the inaugurated yam market and yam facility storage would have direct impact on millions of poor households and will go a long way in supporting livelihood, prevent post-harvest losses and ensure food security in Benue State and beyond.

On his part, the vice president, who commissioned the project via video conference, noted that Zaki Biam in Ukum LGA accounts for over 70 percent of cultivated yams in the country, stressing that over 200,000 trucks of yam leave the market on daily basis.

Source:Daily Trust