From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has insisted that the sustained attacks on Benue people will not force his administration to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
He maintained that anyone who thinks that the state government would be intimidated to repeal the law would be making a great mistake as according to him, adding that his administration was already trying to amend the law to increase the penalties against anyone who flouts the law.
The governor stated this on Saturday at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Makurdi while giving his midterm score card as part of activities marking this year’s Democracy Day.
“This law has come to stay and no amount of intimidation can make us to repeal it. Instead, we will soon amend the law in order to increase the penalties against offenders.”
Governor Ortom who reeled out his administration’s achievements in the areas of education, agriculture, infrastructure, health among others, however, lamented the humanitarian situation caused by the continued attacks by armed herdsmen, bandits and other criminals in Benue communities.
He said: “The security threat from armed herdsmen, bandits and other criminals in our communities has resulted in wanton killings and the displacement of people in large numbers across the state.
“Today, Benue State has over 1million IDPs with many of them living in the camps we have set up and others staying with their relations. The situation has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the state.”