By Charles Iornumbe
The leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in Benue has appealed to the state government never to give up on herdsmen practising open grazing with impunity.
Chairman of CAN, Benue state chapter, reverend Akpen Leva made the appeal today when he led other officials on a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi.
He explained that a cursory look around the state showed that some displaced communities were still being occupied by Fulani herdsmen openly grazing their cattle even with the ranching law still in place and advised that they be chased away.
Reverend Leva averred that the occupation of such communities by herdsmen and the continued stay of the IDPs in the camps indicated that peace had not returned to the state.
Responding, Governor Ortom urged his Special Adviser on Security to liaise with security operatives to chase away herdsmen that have occupied parts of the state as there was no open grazing in Benue and that anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.
Governor Ortom said he had met with a military team that was in the state on directive to visit the IDP camps and communities occupied by the Fulani herdsmen to report findings to the Federal Government for necessary actions.
The Governor said up till now, he was not in support of the withdrawal of Operation Whirl Stroke and was still of the view that the Federal Government should do something in that regard to protect Benue that had become vulnerable to different crimes.
He promised to sustain partnership with the leadership of CAN to continue to leverage on its wise counsel to move the state forward, while imploring those in leadership positions in the country to lead with the fear of God.