blog image
2 months ago | News

In About: 2 months ago

Views: 19058

Section: News

Benue Killings: FG should do more for herdsmen to end crisis – Audu Ogbeh

FG should do more for herdsmen to stop killings - Audu Ogbeh

He said the FG has not done enough for cattle breeders in the country like it has for farmers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed that the best way for the Federal Government to put an end to the recurring violence between farmers and herdsmen is to improve livestock development in the country.

In the wake of attacks by Fulani herdsmen in two local government areas in Benue state over the past week which has led to the death of 71 people, the minister said the Federal Government has not done enough for cattle breeders in the country as has been done for farmers.

He made these comments at a meeting held between the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, five state governors and security Chief Editors on Monday, January 8, 2018.

He said, "The farmers and herdsmen must not have their lives threatened by circumstances surrounding their professions. We do not want the farmer to lose his crops nor would we want anyone to.

"Over the years, we have not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development in the country.

"People ask the question: Why should government get involved? Why shouldn't the herdsmen manage their own livestock?

"I am sad to tell you that in the last 50 years, until recently, we may have done enough for the rice farmer, the cassava farmer, the maize farmer, the cocoa farmer, but we haven't done much for herdsmen and that inability and omission on our part is resulting in the crises we are witnessing today.

"In Europe, every cow that is farmed gets a subsidy of Six Euros per day. We have done next to nothing for the cattle rearers here and as a result, their operations have become a threat to the existence of our farmers and that is what this communiqué will seek to resolve."

The minister further said that the government's main plan to put an end to the clashes is to build cattle colonies that will cater to the needs of roaming cattle breeders as is practiced in other countries.

He said, "We are planning a programme called cattle colonies, not ranches, but colonies where at least 5,000 hectares of land will be made available, adequate water, adequate pasture will  be made available.

"We also want to stop cattle rearers from roaming about. The culture of cattle roaming about will be stopped.

"The cattle will be provided with water and adequate security by the rangers, adequate pasture milk collection even security against rustlers to enable them lead a normal life. This has been done elsewhere in India, Ethiopia and even Brazil."

Benue attacks

In attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of Benue between Sunday, December 31, 2017, and Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 50 people were reportedly killed.

11 other people were killed in a fresh attack on Tombu village of Logo LGA, again by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Saturday, January 6, 2018.

According to state governor, Samuel Ortom's Chief Press Secretary, Terve Akase, the death toll for the attacks hit a total of 71 victims on Monday, January 8, 2018.

Earlier on Monday, the governor had declared three days of mourning in the state for the victims of the attacks. The mourning period will run from Tuesday, January 9, to Thursday, January 11, ending with a church service for the victims at the IBB square in Makurdi, followed by a mass burial.

Police charge 6 to court

The Benue State Police Command arraigned six Fulani herdsmen who are suspected to be connected to the massacre of over a dozen people in Guma LGA on January 2.

The suspects were allegedly involved in the killing of 19 people in Akor village and were arraigned at a Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi before Chief Magistrate Isaac Ajim on Friday, January 5.

Alongside the six already charged to court, the state's police command also arrested two suspects in Logo LGA on Wednesday, January 3.

Curated: Meets

Local AFP Photo

Local AFP is a Reporter at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on News and some other section of our website.

Add Comments