The Nigerian Union of Journalists( NUJ), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria’s chapter has called on the federal government to step up humanitarian services in Benue to alleviate the sufferings of the displaced persons.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Chukwuma Agbanusi made the call in Makurdi when he led other executive members on a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom.
Agbanusi decried the wanton destruction of lives and property in the state by militia herdsmen since 2011, noting that resources of the state are not enough to cater for the needs of over 200,000 displaced persons, hence the need for the federal government, organisations and public spirited individuals to come in.
While acknowledging the massacres in Agatu, Guma and Logo as well as Gwer West and Gwer East among others,
Agbanusi said the N10 billion earmarked for rehabilitation of IDPs in herdsmen crisis ridden states was not enough for even Benue alone as losses estimated at about N95 billion were recorded in Benue.
He condoled with Governor Ortom, government and people of the state over the senseless killings and called on security agencies to address the insecurity in the Benue Valley.
Responding, Governor Ortom said preliminary assessments revealed losses estimated at N400 billion in the renewed herdsmen crisis in the state.
The Governor stated that in 2014 alone when 53 of his kinsmen were killed in one attack on his community by herdsmen and his houses and farms destroyed, damage estimated at N95 billion was recorded.
He stated that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law was meant to project Benue and Nigeria to the 21st century method of animal husbandry which is practiced globally.
Governor Ortom appreciated Nigerians and the media for their support for his people since the renewed attacks, noting that their endorsement of the law was a sign of victory for Benue people.
He expressed the hope that the Operation Whirl Stroke deployed to the state would soon abate the senseless killings.