President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, appealed to the government and people of Benue State to exercise restraint in the aftermath of the recent attacks by Fulani herdsmen, which claimed 73 lives. He assured that those behind the incident will face the wrath of the law.
The President, according to a State House release, spoke while receiving a delegation of political leaders, traditional rulers and elders of the state at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The delegation was led by the governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom,
According to the statement, signed by Femi Adesina, Presidential spokesperson, President Buhari commiserated with the families of the victims of the attacks and promised that the government will make efforts to bring succor them.
He assured that the perpetrators of the attacks and members of all illegal militias in the state will not go unpunished. He also stated that relevant government agencies have been directed to provide relief for those affected.
“Your Excellency, the governor, and all the leaders here, I am appealing to you to try to restrain your people. I assure you that the Police, the Department of State Security and other security agencies have been directed to ensure that all those behind the mayhem get punished. I ask you in the name of God to accommodate your countrymen. You can also be assured that I am just as worried, and concerned with the situation,’’ the President said.
President Buhari told the delegation that his administration has started working on an enduring solution to the perennial herdsmen/farmers’ conflict around the country. He explained that the Inspector- General of Police was ordered to relocate to the state to provide security for lives and properties. He called on all Benue indigenes to have confidence in the security agencies and report all suspicious cases of movements in the state.
Speaking at the meeting, Ortom said tension in the state will abate if the intervention of the Federal Government brings a lasting solution to the herdsmen attacks. He assured that he will return to Benue State to rebuild the confidence of the people.
The Tor-Tiv, Professor James Ortese Iorzua Ayatse, told the President that has been in mourning due to the incessant attacks. He called on the President to ensure that a solution to the horror is found.
“We want you to put an end to the gruesome situation,’’ the traditional ruler said.
In attendance at the meeting were Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu; former Senate President, David Mark; former Benue State governor, George Akume; and Barnabas Gemade, a senator.
Others included Mr. JK Waku, General Lawrence Onoja (retd.), Brig. Gen. John Atom Kpera (retd.), former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbir Kyambe, other members of the state legislature and representatives of the state at the National Assembly.