By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Benue Youth Forum, BYF, has raised the alarm over alleged plot by armed herdsmen to invade Guma Local Government Area, LGA, and other parts of the state.
The group appealed to security agencies to intensify surveillance in border communities of the State, particularly Guma LGA to avert a repeat of the 2018 massacre in the area.
The National President of BYF, Comrade Terrence Kuanum in a statement Monday in Makurdi disclosed that credible information had it that clandestine meetings were being held by armed herders in Bauchi at the border between the state and Kano State to unleash mayhem in Benue state.
According to him “herders who have been holding meetings in some northern states have singled out Governor Samuel Ortom as their prime target and have threatened to make his country home a stream of tears.
“Unverified information has it that the latest meeting of the evil planners took place at a community in Bauchi on the border between the state and Kano State.
“The aim of the armed herdsmen is to intimidate the Governor through sustained attacks and force him to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to give their cattle unhindered access to Benue lands.
“The general public should recall that Governor Ortom recently alerted the nation that his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed was profiling him for attacks, and that if anything happens to him, Governor Bala should be held responsible. Also recall the eye-popping support and defence the Bauchi Governor publicly gave herdsmen who carry AK47.
“Is it a coincidence that the said meeting and plot to attack Governor Ortom’s country home took place in Bauchi?
“Our investigation points to the fact that the same terror groups are remotely behind the communal clashes within Benue State to paint a picture of anarchy and make the Governor to appear as one who has lost control of affairs of his state.
“The sophistication and audacity the communal crises have assumed lays credence to the suspicion of external influence.
“While supporting the call for the arrest of indigenous suspects, we urge security operatives to equally beam their searchlight on sponsors of the crises who may not be residing within the state.
“We urge Benue people to continue to support security agencies as they have been doing and to report strange movements around them.
“While commending security agencies for their efforts in restoring peace in Benue State, we charge them to do more to enable our people who are in IDPs camps to return to their ancestral homes,” part of the statement read.
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