Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Notable Benue indigenes have arrived the Presidential Villa for the meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the herdsmen-farmers crisis in the state.
The president had called for the meeting ostensibly to find lasting solution to the Benue herdsmen, farmers crisis.
Some of the notable persons at the Presidential Villa for the meeting include the governor, Samuel Ortom, former Senate President, David Mark, former governor George Akume, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, Sen. Bardabas Gemade, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Michael Aondoakaa, Sen. Josphe Wasu, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange, among others.
The opening Christian and Islamic prayers were said by Sen. Gemade, and Hon. Sule Audu, who both asked for God’s wisdom to resolve all the issues that will lead to peace.
The meeting, which had since gone into closed door session, would focus on the issue of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen and the alleged arming, training and financing of militia groups by state governments.
A Presidency source said the meeting was convened because of the scale of the violence and also the widespread condemnation that have trailed them.
The president was also expected to seek an explanation about the arrest of some militia members who confessed to being armed by the Benue State Government, an allegation that the state government has since denied.
Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the meeting was on the cards but said he was yet to be briefed on the matters to be discussed.
He said the Federal Government welcomes any initiative by any group that would provide lasting solutions to be country’s security problems.
Shehu explained that security entails collective participation of all and it was better for everyone to come together to find solutions instead of trading blames.