<<< By Terver Akase >>>
Governor Samuel Ortom has reiterated his call on all Nigerians of goodwill to rise in condemnation of the killings in the state by herdsmen and support for government in ensuring the return of peace to the affected communities.
Governor Ortom made the call at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, during a dinner organised in honour of officials of a World Bank assisted NGO, Rights Monitoring Group who are in the state on environmental impact assessment tour of areas hit by the crisis.
Governor Ortom who lamented the destruction of lives and property in several local government areas of the state by herdsmen, said the situation, if not checked, would lead to acute food scarcity.
He maintained that Benue is an agrarian state with inadequate land for grazing of cattle as a result of population explosion and wondered why despite that reality, herdsmen choose to invade the state and dispossess its people of the land and make them refugees.
Governor Ortom acknowledged the efforts of President Mohammedu Buhari in tackling the security challenge in the state by deploying relevant security personnel and providing relief materials to internally displaced persons.
The Governor commended officials of the Rights Monitoring Group for embarking on the environmental impact assessment and expressed the hope that findings of the NGO would assist government in finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
Responding, leader of the delegation, Mr.Olufemi Adewu told Governor Ortom that they were in the state not only to assess the environmental challenges but to also determine possible areas of intervention.
Mr. Adewu thanked the Governor for the warm reception accorded his team and pledged that positive results of their visit will be seen in less than one month.
Members of the Rights Monitoring Group delegation were decorated in Benue traditional attires and entertained by the Benue State Arts Council troupe.