Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has described the Fulani herdsmen’s attacks on farmers as a national challenge that requires the cooperation of all Nigerians to surmount.
Ortom made the statement in Makurdi yesterday when he received a delegation from the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), led by its Chairman, Senator John Shagaya, at the Benue Peoples House.
Ortom prayed that other states might not experience a situation where over 73 people lost their lives to such attacks at the beginning of the year.
According to him, several states, including Zamfara, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ogun, Abia and Niger have suffered attacks, indicating that the problem transcends individual states.
He stated that the photograph he saw of President Muhammadu Buhari at his ranch in Daura recently had given Nigerians the direction that ranching was the way to go in animal husbandry, hoping that as a disciplined person, the President knows what is good for the country.
The governor said he had forgiven all those whose actions and words had caused pains to people of the state, including his Plateau State counterpart, Simon Lalong, who is quoted to have made some uncomplimentary comments about the Benue killings.
He appreciated the President for making frantic efforts to end the attacks, including the relocation of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the state and directing the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials for distribution to affected communities.
He reiterated that he had withdrawn from political activities to concentrate on finding a lasting solution to the crisis and advised those politicising the issue to desist forthwith, as it would rather aggravate the situation.
Earlier, Shagaya said the delegation was in the state to mourn with the government and people of Benue State over the killings, urging the Governor to continue with his constructive engagement with the federal government, his colleagues and security agencies to find a lasting solution to the challenge.
Shagaya, while condemning the killings, commended Ortom for maintaining calm, law and order, despite the callous act carried out by people he described as enemies of the state and agents of disunity.