The Benue State Security Council has ordered the immediate suspension of the operations of the Community Volunteer Guards for two weeks to allow all herdsmen who thronged the state in the last few weeks with cattle to practice grazing, to move out of the state.
This was part of the resolution reached at the end of the emergency expanded meeting of the council which had in attendance the Tor Tiv, Ochi’Idoma, religious leaders as well as Local Government Council Chairmen and presided over by Governor Samuel Ortom.
The meeting was called by Governor Ortom following the bloodbath that was witnessed in the state in the last three weeks that claimed close to 400 lives after suspected armed herdsmen invaded various communities in the state. The council vowed to deal decisively with anyone including stakeholders and traditional rulers who connive with mischief makers to instigate crisis in the communities.
The resolution which was read by Governor Ortom lamented the killings in the state noting that “within a short period of 10 days we have recorded over 130 killings and we are still counting.
“This is not acceptable to the Security Council but we commend the security agencies for their prompt responses to distress calls; they have not relented despite the obvious challenges they face. We commend the support of the Community Volunteer Guards who are directly under the supervision of the Nigerian Police, we urge them to continue to be of good behaviour and patriotic in carrying out their responsibilities.
“We have also allowed the suspension of the operations of the Benue State Livestock Guards for two weeks so that those Fulani herdsmen who came into the state in their numbers with their cattle can go back to where they came from and allow our people to stay in peace.”
In February 2023, the state governor Samuel Ortom announced that about 6000 citizens from Benue state has been killed by armed herders while there are two million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who are living in dire conditions in official IDPs camps across the state.