Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, has disclosed that over 130 people had reportedly been killed by purported armed herdsmen in the state during the past ten days.
The governor also announced the two-week suspension of the operation of livestock guards who are tasked with apprehending stray animals during an enlarged security meeting in Makurdi.
He claimed that the decision to halt the operation of livestock guards was made to allow the herdsmen who had flooded the state with herds of cattle within the allotted time to return to where they had come from. He added that, in the event that they were unaware, the security agencies leading them should inform them that open grazing is illegal in Benue.
Governor Ortom also confirmed that the President has issued directives to ensure the arrest of the perpetrators of the recent massacre across the state.
Ortom further stated that, “In order not to join issues and create more problems, I have taking it that the herdsmen who have flooded the state with their cattle are not aware that there is a law prohibiting open grazing in Benue, so we have decide to step down the operations of the livestock guards for two weeks to enable them go back to where they came from so that our people will go to their farm unhindered.
“So, I am sounding this warning that no one should go after them to rustle their cattle and claim to be members of livestock guards or attack or kill anyone, because anyone caught perpetrating evil will be dealt with according to the law.”