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16 Feb 2018

BENUE KILLINGS: BUHARI APPROVES REBUILDING OF AFFECTED COMMUNITIES

By: Ede Ogaba

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the rebuilding of communities ravaged by attacks by Fulani herdsmen in Benue state and other affected states in the country.
 A committee chaired by the Vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has been constituted and mandated to find ways of providing welfare and other needed facilities in these communities.
This was one of the highlights of the monthly National Economic Council (NEC) meeting which held at the Presidential villa, Abuja on Thursday and presided over by the Vice-president.
The Council was also briefed on the activities of the 10-man working group set up at its last meeting and made up the Vice-president as chairman and 9 state governors to proffer lasting solutions to the farmers/herdsmen conflict.
Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar who spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting said Osinbajo, who headed the NEC committee, delivered the interim briefing.
According to him, Prof. Osinbajo told the meeting that the decision at rebuilding the devastated communities was in line with President Buhari administration’s commitment to finding permanent solutions to the herdsmen-farmers clashes in some parts of the country.
Prof. Osinbajo told the council that the working group which has since met twice, formed a technical Sub-Committee, headed by Ebonyi State Governor, Engr David Umahi and given the assignment of interfacing with relevant groups involved in the crisis with a view to arriving at lasting solutions.

He stated that the Federal Government will not impose anything on the states, but would like to work with them and share templates on best practices for the conduct of livestock production and business.
In their recommendations, the Committee called for the use of the Military force to flush out bandits whose activities have been linked to the clashes. It also called for active engagement with traditional and religious leaders to nurture peace in the communities.
The working group which also called for more efficient intelligence gathering advocated the use of joint Military-Police Operation to manage violent outbreaks where required.
It further recommended the training of an Agro Rangers Corps to provide security around ranches, livestock production centres and grazing routes.
Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom who was represented at the NEC meeting by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu is a member of the working group as well as the technical sub-committee.
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