Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, said he is ready to lay down his life in defence of the people of the state.
Governor Ortom who made the declaration yesterday in Abuja, reaffirmed his commitment to implement the anti-grazing law, which he stated, has come to stay.
He spoke at the maiden public lecture organized by Conference of Benue Journalists, where he was presented with an award for the defence of Benue.
Ortom, who expressed delight over the award, vowed to resist attempt from outside forces to repeal the law.
Lamenting the plight of the people in various Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs) in the state, the governor said that a family of 20 comprising a man, four wives and 16 children have been displaced.
He insisted that ranching was the only way to ensure peace and added that nothing will stop the anti-grazing law in the state.
“I stand on the path of truth and on the defence of my people who elected me. As long as I am alive, I will continue to defend my people and the unity of this country. Over 200 people who would have been in school are currently at home while about 500 thousand IDPs are scattered across various camps in the state. Some died while running away from death. When the Sharia law was enacted in Zamfara State, Benue indigenes who were not comfortable with the law relocated to their state. How can we achieve development in the midst of lawlessness?” Ortom asked.
He added that over 200 herdsmen have been arrested out of which 49 have been convicted.
Earlier, a professor of Archeology of the Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu said that the herdsmen were the biggest destabilising factor in Nigeria.
Prof. Gudu who spoke on the topic: The Effects of Herdsmen and Farmers Crises on Food and Security in Nigeria”, linked the killings to international agenda which according to him, Nigeria has been strategically targeted.
Blaming past leaders of the state over their failure to address the problems at the initial stage, he called on the people of Benue State to resist moves by desperate politicians and enemies of the state from imposing a governorship candidate on them.