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By Terver Akase
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has reassured the people of Agatu and other parts of the state affected by clashes between herdsmen and farmers of government’s continued protection from external attacks.
Governor Ortom gave the assurance while addressing a group of protesters under the aegis of a civil rights organisation, Conference of Minority Tribes who marched to the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.
He told the protesters that the government was looking into the issue of further attacks by herdsmen and disclosed that security presence had been beefed up in the affected areas.
The Governor said investigations had revealed that the herdsmen who invade Benue and attack innocent people come from distant lands and not the same Fulani’s who have lived in the state for many years. He reiterated the commitment of his administration to collaborating with the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
He said ranches remain the only reliable long time solution to clashes between herders and farmers.
“All over the world, the idea of grazing routes is no longer feasible. The one sure way we can end frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in this country is the establishment of ranches and that is what I have been telling anyone who cares to listen,” he stated.
Earlier, leader of the group, Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi, accused some extremist religious movements of sponsoring renewed killings in Benue and other states.
Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi called on the Presidency to look into the matter in the same manner the Boko Horam and Shiite uprising in the north was handled, to halt all attempts to spread extremism to other parts of the country.
He lamented the scale of destruction caused by the crisis, describing it as an ethnic cleansing disguised as herdsmen - farmers' crisis to desensitize national consciousness.

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