<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has solicited assistance from the Federal Government, global agencies, organizations, and individuals to rehabilitate destroyed communities in Agatu and other parts of the state.
He also requested federal government’s support to institute a commission of inquiry to examine the causes of the attacks, document the losses and recommend solutions.
Governor Ortom made the requests while speaking with journalists in Okoklo, Agatu local government area after the state executive and security councils inspected some communities destroyed by herdsmen during the recent attacks.
He described the magnitude of destruction as monumental and far beyond the financial capacity of the state to rehabilitate the affected communities.
The Governor said he had visited some of the places attacked by insurgents in the North East but the magnitude of devastation in Agatu far exceeded those places.
Governor Ortom requested the Federal government and people of goodwill across the world to assist the Benue State government to enable ravaged communities to recover and get their lives together again.
According to him, farming and grazing were incompatible hence the imperative to establish ranches as a permanent solution to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders.
He announced that the state government would construct the road from Obagaji to Agagbe in Gwer West local government area while the road from Oshigbudu to Obagaji would be completed in order to enhance accessibility to the area.
Governor Ortom stated that with the inspection, the councils would take further steps to secure the area so that the people could return to their homes.
He addressed the affected communities at Aila, Okoklo and those displaced at Obagaji.
Those who spoke including Agatu Caretaker chairman, Joseph Ngbede, traditional rulers of Agatu and Apa, Chiefs Godwin Onah and John Antenyi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leader in the area, John Ngbede, Special Adviser, Alhaji Isah Usman, Assembly member. Alhaji Sale Audu, and former council chairman, Mike Inalegwu commended Governor Ortom for his efforts in restoring peace in the area.
They also lauded the resumption of work on the Oshigbudu-Obagaji road even as they requested the establishment of an army barracks in Agatu as well as provision of additional security and relief materials including farm inputs.