Sat. Dec 4th, 2021

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Starved IDPs Stealing From My Farm – Ortom

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Owing to the dwindling condition of the country and the inadequate resources to prosecute the feeding of Internally Displaced Persons in Benue. Some of them have become petty thieves, stealing food from people's farms.
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Owing to the dwindling condition of the country and the inadequate resources to prosecute the feeding of Internally Displaced Persons in Benue. Some of them have become petty thieves, stealing food from people’s farms.

Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, said IDPs from Guma Local Government Area of the State, where he hails from have been depriving him of his rice, yam and attacking his cassava farms as well other people’s by way of theft. He calls out to Non-governmental Agencies for assistance.

The governor made this disclosure on receiving the Head of Governance and Security, British High Commission, Samuel Waldock at the Government House, Makurdi.

He hyped on the fact that his administration had been working passionately towards emboldening security for the past six years. This he did by granting Amnesty to militant groups.

Ortom reiterated to the British Commission that his unrepentant clamour for peace, fairness and equity in Nigeria, was to the effect of the government living up to its responsibility by tackling herdsmen, banditry and other affiliated crimes.

He made known his willingness to work with the British government, so as to beef up security around farming communities, create public awareness on conflict resolution and peace-building initiatives.

According to the governor, “We have enacted the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law which was the collective decision of Benue people taken through legislative processes by the Benue State House of Assembly which seek to minimize the causes of conflict between farmers and herders as well as protection to both farmers and herders.

“We have also reviewed, through the legislative process, the Community Volunteer Guards law enacted in 2000 to enable the Volunteer Guards to bear legal arms to assist the conventional security operatives in the state. This amendment to the law has been recently signed into law by me,” he said.

Insecurity has according to Ortom become an intractable challenge, eating deep into the fabric of the administration to engender peaceful coexistence and protection of lives and properties belonging to Benue people.

The governor also appealed to local and international donor agencies to increase their activities in Benue and North Central who are the worst hit by insecurity to alleviate the plight of the IDPs.

He commended the British High Commission for always lending a voice against suppression and assisting communities around the world to be economically stable.

Earlier, the head of governance and security, British High Commission Samuel Waldock said they were in the state to have first-hand information about the security issue confronting the state and how they can partner to ensure peace.

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