Outcome of Monday meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Benue delegation led by its Governor, Samuel Ortom, ended as the President appealed to the community to exercise restraints over the gruesome killings and that the security operatives will do all possible to apprehend the perpetrators, “including any illegally armed militia in the state.”
Buhari expressed his committment to resolve the crisis, while receiving the delegation which also consisted of Benue political leaders, traditional rulers and elders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Herdsmen and farmers had clashed leaving more than persons dead in a recent occurrence.
In a statement released by Presidential Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President commiserated with all the victims of the attacks, and the families who lost loved ones and properties, noting that the government would make efforts to ameliorate the situation of all the victims.
The President also said relevant agencies had been directed to start catering for the humanitarian needs.
He said, “Your Excellency, the governor, and all the leaders here, I am appealing to you to try to restrain your people. I assure you that the Police, the Department of State Service and other security agencies had been directed to ensure that all those behind the mayhem get punished.
“I ask you in the name of God to accommodate your country men. You can also be assured that I am just as worried, and concerned with the situation.”
The President told the delegation that his administration had already begun a process of finding lasting solution to the perennial challenge of herdsmen conflict with farmers and communities around the country.
President Buhari said the Inspector General of Police had been directed to relocate to the state to provide security for lives and properties, urging all Benue indigenes to trust the security agencies and report all suspicious cases of movements in the state.
In his remarks, the Benue State Governor said the tension would be reduced with the Federal Government’s intervention to find a lasting solution to the herdsmen attacks.
“We will leave here to rebuild confidence in our people,’’ he said.
The Tor-Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, said his entire domain had been thrown into mourning due to the incessant attacks.
“We want you to put an end to the gruesome situation,’’ he added.
Present at the meeting were Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, former Senate President, David Mark, former Benue State Governor, Sen. George Akume and Sen. Barnabas Gemade. Others include Sen. Joseph Waku, Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd), Brig. Gen. John Atom Kpera (rtd), former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbir Kyambe, and other members of the National and State Assemblies from the State.
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