FG frustrating effort to fight insecurity — Benue govt

THE Benue state commissioner for Information, Mike Inelagwu, has said attacks by herders in Benue state have continued unabated due to the “sluggishness” of the federal government.

According to Inelagwu, the Federal government had frustrated the state government’s effort to fight insecurity.

The commissioner, in an interview the Punch published on Saturday, April 15, claimed that lack of response from the Federal government made the state governor, Samuel Ortom, unable to protect Benue residents.

Inelagwu said the governor proposed to the Federal government measures that could be adopted to stop the killings, but the proposals were either rejected or ignored.

Describing the killings as “senseless and unprovoked”, he said the security officials in the state were overwhelmed and also under-equipped, and that Ortom’s requests for the deployment of more security personnel were ignored.

“The governor has the antidote, but for the political differences. We came up with the formation of community volunteer guards to reduce the killings and augment the activities of conventional security agencies. Still, the Buhari administration refused to arm them (volunteer guards).

“If Buhari had yielded, the governor would not have been helpless. How do we try an alternative when the President refused to grant Ortom an audience to intimate him about what is happening in the state? The same federal government that vowed not to discriminate is discriminating against the government of Samuel Ortom,” he said.



    Benue is one of the states in Nigeria that is rife with insecurity. There have been incessant attacks and killings by armed herders and a significant number of its residents have been displaced.

    According to the Benue State Emergency and Management Agency, about 5,138 people had been killed, and 18 local government areas attacked within the last seven years.

    In 2015, 1,177 people were killed, allegedly by armed herders; in 2016, 809 people died.

    The alleged attacks by armed herders caused the death of 43 and 440 people in 2017 and 2018 respectively; 174 persons died due also to herders attacks in 2019; 88 people in 2020, 2,131 in 2021, 172 deaths in 2022, and 104 since January 2023.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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