The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that atleast over 60 farmers and other residents of the state have been killed and several others injured by herdsmen during different attacks on communities.
Ortom added that the farmers and residents were killed and injured during several attacks that occurred between April and June 2020 and that the attacks have left several farmers with severe loss of property as well.
The governor disclosed the statistics on Tuesday during the inauguration of Federal Government Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) held at the Zaki-Biam yam international market which was attended virtually by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and others.
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He said: “The resurgence of the herdsmen who have continued to attack our farmers is worrisome and we need the Federal Government to assist us to end their persistent attacks in the state.
“They constantly disturb our farmers that are rural dwellers and that is why we need security agencies because the herdsmen attack frequently and it affects the farmers from going to their farms”, Ortom added.
Also, Ortom urged the apex government to prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for aiding the attacks on farmers in the state.
To address the issue, he suggested that the Federal Government revisit the protocol of free movement among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states.
The governor hinted that some of the herdsmen travel from other west African countries on foot into Nigeria and often come to the state in search of pasture.
On the MSME project, the governor commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for initiating the project to keep farmers engaged and maintain food security in the country.