Benue State Governor, Hon. Gabriel Suswam, has condemned the Tuesdayâ€™s killing of seven persons in Torkula village and the burning of the country home of Tor Tiv, Orchivirigh Alfred Akawe Torkula, by Fulani herdsmen in Guma, Gwer-West, Makurdi and Agatu local governments areas.
Suswam said the huge number of the attackers raised the question as to whether they were really herdsmen or militia pursuing a different agenda just as he queried the source of their sophisticated weapons.
The governor said it was regrettable that the incessant, bloody attacks on the farmers have persisted in spite of the comprehensive security arrangements already put in place by his administration to deal with the situation.
According to the governor, the state government was working in close collaboration with the armed forces, the police and para-military establishments in the state to carry out patrols, provide surveillance in villages along the boundaries between Benue and Nasarawa States which have been the main theatres of bloody clashes.
He called on the federal government to take urgent measures to support the state government in its bid to contain the Fulani invasions in some parts of the state as well provide relief materials to the displaced persons.
The governor regretted the displacement of thousands of Tiv farmers from their places of abode adding the displaced persons have constituted a big social problem to the state government.
Similarly, he lamented the plight of school children kept out of school in the last three years as a result of the protracted crisis in the affected four local government areas.
Suswam appealed to the people of the state to maintain calm even in the face of unprovoked by the Fulani herdsmen and the burning down of the Tor Tivâ€™s country home, promising that his administration would not rest on its oars in seeing to the end of the perennial problem.
In spite of the attacks, he urged the people of the state to continue to regard and treat the Fulaniâ€™s as their kith and kin with whom they have shared historical excellent relations.
Similarly, he advised the Fulani herdsmen to learn to live in harmony with their host communities and to be mindful of incursions and destruction of farmers which often times leads to violent clashes.
The governor, however, called on the federal government to expeditiously tackle the problem of incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers by creating ranches and grazing reserves as was the practice in some of the advanced economies of the world.