Following the incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, counter attacks and the ripples effects on neighbouring States, the Nigeria Police Force, on Tuesday, held a peace parley for the Stakeholders of both Nassarawa and Benue States in Abuja.
Speaking at the parley, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris said the meeting was organised to forestall further killings and ensure reconciliation between both communities. He urged the stakeholders present to maintain calm and ensure that resolutions from the meeting would be aimed at peace and reconciliation.
While speaking at the event, the deputy governor of Benue state, Engr. Benson Abounu said “this meeting is supposed to be a meeting of brothers aimed at bringing peace to the ordinary person in both states. It is a meeting of brothers because Benue and Nasarawa States were created out-of the old Plateau State. “The best we can do for our children and children’s children is to try and maintain peace so that cordiality can exist between people of both states.
“We have come here with good intentions and sincerity of purpose. We cannot afford to have anything less than peace. If we must develop a strong united country, then we must have peace. Peace that is founded on justice, equality, security and equity. Benue is hundred percent for peace and we will do everything possible to ensure that the current crisis we are witnessing be brought to a permanent end.
Also speaking, leader of the Nassarawa state delegate and the Special Adviser on Security Matters to the governor, Dr. Muhammed Umar said “Because of the word peace and reconciliation, I don’t want people to leave here with the notion that the government or the people of both states are at war. Nasarawa State do not have any problem of any sort with the people of Benue State. “We have our conflict resolution mechanism which has helped the state for long and we are here willingly to make it available to our counterparts in Benue State to resolve whatever skirmishes must have taken place in the past few months.
“The only thing that concerns us is the ripple effect of the Open grazing Prohibition law which the government and people of Nasarawa State are not in a position to contradict what the people of Benue want. We are not against the law but the ripple effect has affected us severely but it is the policy of the government of Benue State not to chase the people away. All those running away from the anti-grazing law, being Nigerians, the government has done everything to accommodate them.
I am also told to advise that the statement and comments of leaders are very important in negotiations of peace of any kind.”