Nigerian Senate has promised to intervene in the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Benue which has led to the recent killings of over 70 persons.
The Senate through its ad hoc Committee on Security and Infrastructure stated this today in Makurdi during a meeting with Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and traditional rulers from Logo and Guma local government areas which were recently attacked by the armed herdsmen.
Chairman of the Committee and Majority Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the 9-man Senate Committee was in the state to review the crisis at hand and report back to the Senate on Tuesday 16th January,2018 during plenary.
Lawan noted that the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Security and Infrastructure was formed as a direct response to the challenge of incessant killings in Nigeria and would find a way of addressing the infrastructural deficits of the affected communities in Benue.
The Majority who Leader said the security apparatus of the country was not well structured, leaving room for the current security lapses that the nation is facing, stressed that the primary duty of every government was the protection of lives and property.
He stated that the Senate would not sit back to watch citizens of the nation perish, saying though the security agencies were doing their best, the upper Chamber of National Assembly feels there were avoidable deficiencies, hence, the need to come out with a stronger security architecture for the nation.
Lawan sued for cooperation to ensure the attacks on Benue remained the last of such wickedness in Nigeria as no foreign or domestic investor would make progress where there are obvious security threats.
He conveyed the condolences of the Senate President and the 8th Senate to the people of Benue over the mass murder of innocent citizens of the state.
On his part, Governor Ortom maintained that population explosion has put pressure on land and it was impossible to allow the cohabitation of open grazing and farming.
Ortom called for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who threatened, masterminded and launched attacks on defenceless Benue citizens killing over 70 persons most of whom were buried last Thursday.
The Governor revealed that he was under threat from his people who were seeking to protect themselves against the invaders who have been attacking the state since 2011 without arrests except endless police investigations.
Ortom said his administration has sworn to rule with integrity and has done so much to bring peace by disarming youths that had possessed arms illegally and enactment of the anti open grazing law which the herdsmen have disregarded and went on killing spree.
He thanked the Senate President and the entire 8th Senate for taking the step to intervene in the crisis that has lingered since 2011 and destroyed thousands of lives and billions of property belonging to Benue people.
Governor Ortom also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for responding to the cry of Benue by relocating the the Inspector General of Police to Benue and deploying more troops to ensure Benue Citizens have peace, saying at least no killing has been reported in the last four days.
Business Day learnt that the Senate delegation after the meeting would visit the affected communities in Logo and Guma as well as the internally displaced persons, IDPs camps for on the spot assessment.
JAMES KWEN, MAKURDI
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Author: JAMES KWEN, MAKURDI