SAMUEL Ortom, Benue State Governor, on Tuesday, told the Internally Displaced Persons, who were displaced due to Fulani herdsmen attacks, to go back home and use stones to defend themselves.
Mr Ortom said this was because he was tired of keeping IDPs in Camps.
He explained that killings in the state had become one too many to such an extent that people were running from their homes.
The governor said this during his visit to the displaced persons who were forced to flee their homes after armed herdsmen attacked Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State.
Ortom stated that the killings were becoming uncontrollable and charged them to embrace self-defence.
He said, “David in the Bible used ordinary stone to defeat his enemy, it is now time for you to stay at home and use the stone in your homes to defend yourself instead of running away.
“I believe in the rule of law, equity and fairness, but I cannot continue to keep IDPs and l can’t afford to have another IDPs in Gwer West. This must stop. We must stop truncating the future of our younger generation.
“When we allow laws to be violated and nobody takes action, it then allows for impunity and when you give room to impunity, it will result to anarchy which will in turn breed a lawless society.
“Therefore, we the citizens must rise up to support the security agencies by way of providing lawful and necessary logistics such as information, equipment and financial support to back up their operations.
“Just yesterday (Monday), a soldier was killed in Guma, security agents are not spared. Security challenges are enormous. The gruesome murder of 24 people by Fulani herdsmen is quite condemnable.
“Time has come if you are willing to live in Benue State, you must be ready and willing to be law abiding.”
He stated that the state government was working with local governments and traditional rulers to strengthen the vigilante and livestock guards to assist conventional security agencies in containing insecurity in the state.
While noting that there was no going back on the ranching law of the state, Governor Ortom stated that people were free to do their livestock business in the state but must ranch or face prosecution.
He said recent projection by Northern Governors revealed that Nigeria’s population would reach 450 million by 2050, adding that with a fixed land mass, open grazing of livestock would be impracticable in the country.
The Governor lamented that security agents had also fallen victims of herdsmen attacks, noting that eleven police officers, three civil defence officers and a soldier had been killed by militia herdsmen since January 2018.
In a remark, Ter Tyoshin, Chief Daniel Abomtse stated that Gwer West Local Government had witnessed 24 attacks since February 2011 till date with 212 deaths, stressing that in the last attack, 24 people were gruesomely murdered.
Chief Abomtse who called for the stationing of military personnel at Kula to check activities of militia herdsmen stated that abandoned farms owned by Lower Benue River Basins Development Authority was being used by the invaders as base.
On his part, chairman Gwer West Local Government Council, Mr. Francis Ayagah acknowledged the prompt intervention of the Governor and pledged the support of people of the area to full implementation of the ranching law.