Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has again raised the alarm over influx of herdsmen and their cattle into the state stressing that at least, 15 persons have been killed across four local government areas in the last one week.
This is even as the Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Maj Gen Adeyemi Yekini, has insisted that there has been no report of killings by herdsmen in the state in the past months.
The governor, who spoke to newsmen at the Benue Hotels in Makurdi, listed the affected local government areas to include Guma, Gwer West, Logo and Makurdi.
He said although, the killer herdsmen are not settling anywhere in the state, their modus operandi is to come into the state, attack in a guerrilla manner and then retreat.
“As I talk to you, almost everyday, we have records of killings in the state. Killings are going on in some places within the state.
Three days ago, four people were killed in Gwer West, few days ago, two people were killed right here in Makurdi, also three were killed in Guma and six people were killed in Logo.
But reacting swiftly in a statement, yesterday, Commander, OPWS, Maj Gen Adeyemi Yekini, said that the force did not receive any report of a single killing or even injury inflicted by armed herdsmen on anybody in any part of Benue State in the past several months.
“OPWS has troops in all the areas mentioned including Makurdi and there is no way up to 15 people would be killed without our troops being aware of it. Such a large number of killings would have triggered an exodus of people in the affected communities, which journalists would have captured almost as they happened.”
Yekini stated further that, “there are also other security agencies on ground including traditional military units, police, Civil Defence and DSS personnel who would have filed reports of the killings through their respective channels while also exchanging such information with us.
“HQ OPWS is requesting the good people of Benue to disregard the news and go about their normal business activities without fear with assurance that OPWS remains resolutely committed to restoring lasting peace to Benue State.”