THE Benue State governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, on Thursday, raised the alarm over what he described as a well orchestrated plot by the rampaging Fulani herdsmen with their foreign collaborators, to annihilate the inhabitants of the state and establish a caliphate in the area.
Governor Ortom raised the alarm in Abuja, on Thursday, at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs on the alarming influx of herdsmen into Benue State and the consequent threat to peace, life and property of the people of the state if not checked.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Mr Benson Abonu, disclosed that a security report to this effect had already been made to the relevant security agencies in the country long ago.
According to him, “they want to weaken the fabrics of Benue State, in such a way that when they want to come to pass, there won’t be any resistance.”
Meanwhile, a group, Mdzough U Tiv ((MUT), a pan umbrella socio-cultural organisation of the Tiv, has demanded that the Federal Government should pay the affected communities compensations to the tune of N100 billion as damages for all they suffered in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen.
This was contained in its memorandum on the alarming influx of herdsmen into the state and the consequent threat to peace, life and property presented to the committee.
The group in addition also demanded that the Federal Government should facilitate the immediate eviction of the herdsmen from their ancestral land, as part of efforts to restore peace into the state.
President-General of the organisation, Chief Edward Ujege, while presenting the memorandum, declared that since the security agencies had failed to protect the communities from the marauding herdsmen, the National Assembly should enact legislation permitting community policing by members of the community to protect their communities.
In his own presentation before the committee, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase, who assured that the situation was under control, said that the police was corraborating with other security agencies to ensure the cessation of these attacks by herdsmen on Benue communities.
The IGP said the death of any citizen of Nigeria dimished humanity and assured the committee of the readiness of the police to work with the Benue State government to stem the genocidal attacks on its communities.
In his remarks, chairman of the committee, Honourable Dauda Jika, assured the group that the committee would come up with an amicable way of solving the problem between the farmers and the Fulani herdsmen.
The investigative hearing followed a motion brought to the floor of the House by Honourable Mark Gbillah, representing Benue, APC and the panel was mandated to investigate and report back to the House within two weeks for further legislative action.