Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Leaders of the Benue State socio-cultural groups under the aegis of the Mdzough U Tiv, (MUT), (INF) and Omi Ny’Igede (ONI) have commended troops of the Operation WHIRL STROKE, for their efforts at ensuring end to militant herdsmen killings in the state even as they commiserated with families of the personnel who had lost their lives in the operation.
The ethnic leaders also passed a vote of confidence on Governor Samuel Ortom over his strong determination to ensure the smooth implementation and enforcement of the state’s anti-open grazing law.
In a statement issued, on Thursday, in Makurdi, the leaders, through their chairmen, Chief Edward Ujege (MUT), Barr. Amali Adoya Amali (INF) and Comrade Ben Okpa (ONI) commended Governor Ortom for his resilience to ensure that the will of the people of the state prevailed in the face of adversity.
Ujege, who read the position of the leaders thanked Governor Ortom for consistently and firmly staking his neck to entrenching modern way of animal husbandry through the enactment of the law on ranching.
“The forum of MUT, INF and ONI is therefore deeply appreciative of Governor Samuel Ortom. The success of the Governor‘s efforts in this regard will encourage and guarantee mass participation in agricultural activities which is the main economic stay of our dear state apart from the civil service.
“In the face of apparent persecution and lackluster response from the centre, which ought to provide us security, our Governor has chosen to stand with his people and we also stand with him.
“It is on this note that we the forum of MUT, INF and ONI wish to state unequivocally our unflinching support to Governor over his stance on the open grazing prohibition law.
“He has chosen to stand with the people at this critical time in the history of our state due to onslaught by the herdsmen, sacrificing his life and political comfort to ensure that the wishes of the people on whose mandate he became the Governor of Benue State prevailed.
“At present, we cannot talk about sustenance of Benue state economy because of the onslaught by the herdsmen. Our rural populations who in their small measure have been contributing to the local economy have deserted their communities.
“We also wish to remind those constituting a clog in the wheel of progress of Benue and Nigeria that they are only building castles in the air and will not succeed in mortgaging the future of our children yet unborn.
“Benue State of Nigeria is ours as we have nowhere else to call home hence we appreciate the excellent work commenced by the military under the operation “Whirl Stroke” for maintaining the peace and commencing the return of some IDPs to their ancestral homes. Your sacrifice will not be in vain.”