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SAMUEL Ortom, Governor of Benue State has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare the herdsmen killing innocent people in communities in the state as terrorists.
This was contained in a press statement by Trever Akase, spokesperson to the Governor on Saturday morning.
Ortom condemned the series of invasion and killings in several parts of the state allegedly carried out by herdsmen, describing the situation as unacceptable.
He emphasized that the state has a law that prohibits open grazing of livestock that was signed into law in 2017 but has been constantly violated by the Fulani herdsmen.
“Only a terrorist group would deliberately choose to violate the legislation as Fulani herdsmen have done since the law emanated in 2017,” Ortom said.
According to him, declaring the armed herders operating in the “state as terrorists will end the wave of impunity and guarantee the rule of law.”
He urged the people of the state, especially those residing in the affected areas to report any suspicious persons to security agencies.
Ortom also commended officers and men of Operation Whirl Stroke for their prompt responses to distress calls, particularly that on Friday when the people of Tse-Chembe came under herdsmen’s attacks.
The Governor however reassured residents of the state that his administration would not surrender the state to criminal elements such as herdsmen or any other group, adding that no amount of threats and attacks would stop the enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.