Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and other stakeholders in Nasarawa State have denied the allegation by governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State that the state is harbouring killer herdsmen in Tunga, Awe local government area.
Governor Al-Makura, denied the allegation while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, in Lafia, where he described the allegation as “grievous, unacceptable and terribly speculative”.
The meeting had in attendance the deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Silas Agara, the Emir of Lafia, Dr Isa Mustapha Agwai, government functionaries, other traditional rulers from Nasarawa Southern senatorial zone, IMC chairmen, representatives of Tiv and Fulani, and stakeholders.
The governor said, Governor Ortom’s accusation that Nasarawa State had camped killer herdsmen to attack his state was a stigma and an aspersion on his person and the state.
“This is an unfair comment to make of Nasarawa State, especially that we enjoy very cordial relationship and can always be reached with any evidence in that regard.
“In any case, the onus of proof lies with the accuser and I would appeal to my colleague to avail security operatives with the details of where he thinks the killer herdsmen are being camped.
“I can assure you as the chief security officer of the state that we would give the police all the necessary support to comb every part of the state to ascertain whether there is any such thing,” Al-Makura added.
He said he had never received any security reports from the state either from security officers or his administrative detail of the existence of such killer herdsmen camping in Nasarawa State.
Governor Al-Makura, pointed out that Awe, where the killer herdsmen were allegedly being camped, had become a sanctuary for displaced persons, mostly of Tiv extraction, from both states.
On his part, the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim K. Idris, maintained that the killings in Benue and Nasaraewa States, was a communal crisis and not terrorist attack.
It will be recall that the IG Apologised in Benue State over a statement credited to him that the crisis that led to the death of Tiv people in Benue State, was a communal clash.
He said, “And as I still stand by my words that the situation we are having on ground, is a communal situation.”
The IG who called on all victims of the crisis to sheath their swords and leave together in peace as they have always done said, “These are people that have been together for years and I think we should be our brothers keepers, we should tolerate one another as Nigerians.”
“I was in Benue State yesterday and I met the stakeholders and by the grace of God, I am here this afternoon in Nasarawa State to hear your views and experiences on the crisis we are having in some of our communities
“As a police officer, like I said yesterday in Government House, we don’t demonise people, whatever we said our action is always geared towards in insuring peace and harmony among communities,” the IG said.
In the meantime, the interim chairman of Awe local government area of Nasarawa State, Hudu Tafida, has beckoned on the federal government to deploy military troops to the affected communities in the local government.
Tafida, made the call during the peace meeting hosted by the Inspector General of Police, said, “Except soldiers and some other security agents are deployed peace may not return to the communities.
“All Tiv people in Awe local government have fled and left their farm products because of the attacks Fulani from Benue unleashed on them. If the soldiers are not deployed to these communities to assure them of safety they will never return to their habitats,” Hudu lamented.
He disclosed that in Awe alone there are over eighteen thousand internally displaced persons who are living in over seven IDPs camps within the local government.
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