<<< By Terver Akase >>>
The Benue State Government is to organise a retreat for farmers and herdsmen as part of the ongoing efforts to maintain peace in the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom made this known when the Osana of Keana in Nasarawa State, Senator Chief Emmanuel Elayo paid him a courtesy call at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi.
Governor Ortom said the retreat for farmers and herdsmen was one of the several initiatives by his administration to end clashes between the two groups, stressing that he had cautioned the people affected by the conflicts against taking the law into their hands.
He said the amnesty programme of the state government was a success as the rehabilitation of youths who had carried arms had commenced, disclosing that many of those still bearing weapons were already being arrested.
“I don’t believe in using militia and thugs. I believe in using conventional security agencies in combating crime. This informed the introduction of the amnesty programme which is a success today. Security agencies have been directed to arrest possessors of illegal arms and everyday, arrests are being made.”
Governor Ortom charged traditional rulers of border communities in Benue State to network with their counterparts in Nasarawa State to facilitate intelligence gathering, assuring that his administration will soon embark on a joint road project with the government of Nasarawa State to link Daudu, Gbajimba and Keana.
Earlier, the Osana of Keana, Senator Chief Emmanuel Elayo expressed confidence in the ability of Governor Samuel Ortom to bring lasting peace to border communities of the two states.
He lauded the amnesty program of the Ortom administration and urged him to synergize with neighboring states for the expansion of the program to cover them.
The royal father solicited joint efforts between Benue and Nasarawa states to demarcate their common boundary and end perennial conflict along it.
He urged Governor Ortom to champion the interest of the North Central Zone as the late J.S Tarka did for the Middle Belt.