By Peter Duru
MAKURDI-Worried over the possible fallout of the alleged killings of 83 cows belonging to herdsmen in Nasarawa State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Alhaji Tanko Al’Makura are planning a peace meeting to find solution to clashes between herdsmen and farmers in both states.
Governor Ortom who made this known yesterday at the end of a security meeting with Agatu indigenes and heads of military and security agencies in Makurdi, said stakeholders from both states would also be part of the peace parley.
According to him, the security meeting was convened as part of measures to discuss ways of restoring peace and preventing any act that would bring about hostilities between Agatu indigenes and the herdsmen.
The Governor also dismissed speculations that Agatu indigenes from Benue were responsible for the recent killing of some herdsmen and 83 cows in Nasarawa State.
Ortom said, “the information at my disposal shows that it was the Agatu of Nasarawa State that attacked some herdsmen who had displaced them from their villages, the people from Benue state had no hand in the act. We learned that over 10 Agatu communities in Nasarawa state also bear the same name with Agatu communities in Benue state.”
He said the state government had been working towards creating conducive environment for displaced persons to return to their homes and urged Agatu youths to desist from frustrating the effort.
The governor advised youths from Agatu and other parts of Benue South Senatorial District to surrender their arms in line with the amnesty programme of his administration or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
He also condemned the rampant kidnap cases being recorded in the Benue South District and vowed to ensure that the syndicate was broken.