By Jimin Geoffrey
Stakeholders in Benue State today at a meeting in Makurdi which was attended by people across party lines, traditional rulers, the clergy, national and state assembly members as well as past and present leaders unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Governor Samuel Ortom for his untiring efforts to ensure the security of lives and property.
The stakeholders said Governor Ortom has demonstrated true leadership qualities and has risked his life in the interest of the people.
The motion for the vote of confidence on the Governor was moved by leaders of the three main Socio-Cultural Organizations in Benue State; Mzough-U-Tiv, Ochetoha, K’Idoma and Omini ‘Igede.
“We are fully satisfied with the performance of the Governor particularly his firm stand for the protection of our people. The efforts His Excellency the Governor has made in the area of security are responsible for the relative peace being enjoyed in parts of the state today. We remember that in 2018 Fulani herdsmen attacks engulfed 19 out of the 23 local government areas of our state. Today, the herders have resorted to guerrilla tactics of attacking our people in their sleep at night” the socio-cultural leaders stated.
Other resolutions at the meeting were that following renewed attacks on Benue communities by militia herdsmen and the wanton destruction of lives and property, the State Government should commence immediate enforcement of Community Volunteer Guards (Vigilante) Law, which was enacted in the year 2000.
The stakeholders mandated the Benue State Government to recruit more Vigilante personnel and support them with logistics as provided by the law to help contain attacks on Benue communities.
According to the Governor, stakeholders resolved that Volunteer Guards be recruited across all the Kindreds, Districts and Local Governments Areas of the state and be empowered to carry arms allowed by law for protection.
The meeting also reinforced the commitment of Benue people to the enforcement of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017 as well as urged all stakeholders irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliations to join hands in tackling insecurity in the state.
Stakeholders at the meeting appreciated Security agencies for their efforts in ensuring relative peace and security in parts of the state in the face of banditory, kidnapping, herders attacks and other crimes.
Photo Credit: Shimataver Akile.