<<< By Jimin Geoffrey >>>
Governor Samuel Ortom has charged Benue people to arm themselves with Permanent Voter’s Cards and resist the invasion of Benue land by herdsmen under the guise of grazing.
He gave the charge today at NKST Church Iortyer while declaring open a one day Minister’s Retreat organized by the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN.
The Governor urged the church to be vigilant and stop the plan of the enemies to impose leaders on the state with a view to having a smooth ride in the implementation of their agenda.
He acknowledged the complementary role of the church in securing the land through prayers during the external aggression that characterized the enactment and implementation of Benue’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
Governor Ortom stated that two weeks ago, three persons were abducted by enemies of the state in Guma and were held hostage for a number of days before they were released with a message to him (Ortom) that since he had made a law against open grazing, there would be no farming in Benue State.
He said it was laughable that the whole cattle causing unrest in Nigeria were less than 20 million, stressing that even in countries with over 200 million herds of cattle, ranching is practised without hitches.
The Governor said some of his colleagues in the North who admire his courage and tenacity in resisting impunity have assured him of prayers in support of the ranching revolution.
In his opening remarks, state chairman of CAN, reverend Akpen Leva, said the retreat with the theme: “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for theme,” was meant to strengthen the already existing unity among the church and as well pray for peace in the state.
He commended the clergy for their perseverance in the midst of attacks by external aggressors, even as he also commended Governor Samuel Ortom for standing firm through the enactment and implementation of the ranching law of the state.
Reverend Leva said the church in Nigeria was under serious threat and charged Christians across the country to pray against the trend.