Governor Samuel Ortom has charged Benue youths to defend their land from invasion by militia herdsmen.
He stated this yesterday at Gwer-West Local Government Secretariat, Naka while addressing displaced persons as a result of recent attacks on some communities in the area where 24 persons were gruesomely murdered.
The Governor charged the youths to work closely with security agencies in defending their land, stressing that David killed Goliath with just a stone.
He stated that the state government was working with local governments and traditional rulers to strengthen the vigilante and livestock guards to assist conventional security agencies in containing insecurity in the state.
While noting that there was no going back on the ranching law of the state, Governor Ortom stated that people were free to do their livestock business in the state but must ranch or face prosecution.
He said recent projection by Northern Governors revealed that Nigeria’s population would reach 450 million by 2050, adding that with a fixed land mass, open grazing of livestock would be impracticable in the country.
The Governor lamented that security agents had also fallen victims of herdsmen attacks, noting that eleven police officers, three civil defence officers and a soldier had been killed by militia herdsmen since January 2018.
In a remark, Ter Tyoshin, Chief Daniel Abomtse stated that Gwer West Local Government had witnessed 24 attacks since February 2011 till date with 212 deaths, stressing that in the last attack, 24 people were gruesomely murdered.
Chief Abomtse who called for the stationing of military personnel at Kula to check activities of militia herdsmen stated that abandoned farms owned by Lower Benue River Basins Development Authority was being used by the invaders as base.
On his part, chairman Gwer West Local Government Council, Mr. Francis Ayagah acknowledged the prompt intervention of the Governor and pledged the support of people of the area to full implementation of the ranching law.