The attention of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has been drawn to the quit notice reportedly issued to herdsmen by the group called Middle Belt Renaissance Forum, and the Governor states categorically as follows:
1. The Benue State Government distances itself and the people of the state from the quit notice.
2. The said notice will NOT have any impact or effect in Benue State and it should be disregarded by all Benue people including Fulani herdsmen living in the state.
3. Security agencies should investigate the matter and apprehend those behind the quit notice.
4. Benue State has enacted a law prohibiting open grazing to pave way for the establishment of ranches and the implementation of the law is scheduled to commence in November this year.
5. The law however does NOT provide that herdsmen should leave Benue State. It rather encourages herdsmen and any other individual who wishes to rear livestock in the state to do so within ranches.
Governor Ortom urges the people of the state to remain calm and go about their normal businesses as anyone found to be fomenting trouble on account of such a quit notice will be arrested and brought to justice.
He calls on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of coexistence as the constitution allows all nationals to reside anywhere in the country provided they don’t constitute threat to security.
The Governor also emphasizes the need for Nigerians to shun hate speeches capable of plunging the nation into unnecessary crisis.
Chief Press Secretary
August 19, 2017.