By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Benue State governor , Samuel Ortom and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongunu met behind closed-doors yesterday in the Presidential Villa over the persistent herdsmen attacks in Benue.
LEADERSHIP recalls that from Agatu to Logo local governments among several other communities, the Fulani herdsmen had been on rampage,killing scores in the attacks.
This uncanny development had forced the Benue State House of Assembly to pass an anti-open grazing law in the state to prohibit open grazing of cattle on farmlands.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the governor explained that the meeting was to update the Acting President on the security situation in the state.
He said, “And to also brief him of the security situation in my state. We are on top of the situation and things are coming down, the herdsmen and the farmers are now cooperating. The understanding is that no one should encroach into anyone’s farm whether for cattle breeding or farming activities.
“And those ones that cannot live within the community except they do open grazing are already exiting to other places where there is land. Like we keep saying in Benue state, almost all the land is for cultivation so, it’s difficult to talk about grazing. And the herdsmen too are quite understanding with us in this regard.
“We’ll soon sign the anti open grazing bill into law and we look forward that we’ll receive the same cooperation from farmers and herdsmen so that let’s live together as brothers and sisters, we can do it. It is achievable, living without strifes and fightings and killings. We can live. Human life is very precious to some of us and we’ll do everything to protect lives and property in the state.”
On whether the series of consultations with the federal government on the issue had yielded any positive results, he said he had enjoyed tremendous support from the Buhari leadership in respect of the matter.
“Yes, am getting positive responses. The federal government is actively supporting the state. As you know the security apparatus are owned by the federal government and the presidency has been very supportive in einsuring that we have peace. In fact the security personnel are at the disposal of the Benue state government any time we make request whether the police, DSS, civil defence , they are ready to augment what we have on ground; that alone is positive result.
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