Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has warned citizens of the state against cattle rustling and attack on Fulani herdsmen in retaliation.
Speaking at an emergency stakeholders meeting in Makurdi, the state capital, on Monday, Ortom urged the people to report any violation to appropriate authority for action.
The governor said anybody that rustle cattle and kill Fulani herdsmen would not be spared by the law, stressing that the Anti-Open Grazing Law protected both herdsmen and farmers.
He disclosed that the law was against cattle rustling and it also forbids cattle from grazing openly, especially on farms, stressing that there were stiff penalties attached to the offences.
He said that 80,000 people had been registered as internally Displaced Persons at the five camps opened by the state government as a result of the Fulani herdsmen killings.
He further sued for unity and peace among his subjects irrespective of their political and religious affiliations to enable them tackle the security challenges that had bedeviled the state.
- We will defend ourselves, Benue indigenes tell Buhari:
Meanwhile, indigenes of the State have said they will no longer fold their hands and watch their kinsmen being massacred every other day by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
They stressed that they would rise to defend themselves should the Federal Government continue to dilly-dally on their security.
The people, under the auspices of Benue Indigenes in Southeast, comprising the Tiv, Idoma and Igede natives, also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare herdsmen “a terrorist organization” and arrest leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for consistently threatening more bloodshed in Benue State.