Samuel Ortom, Benue State governor, has disclosed that more than one hundred security operatives have so far lost their lives in the course of enforcing the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Establishment Law of 2017.
Ortom disclosed on Tuesday in Makurdi, the state capital, while receiving the new commissioner of police, Tunji Akingbola.
He further stated that the perceived failure of the federal government to come down hard on foreign Fulani herdsmen bearing weapons poses security threats to the lives and safety of security agents and Nigerians.
“Why do we need to allow Fulani from all these countries to come and destroy our land? That is the point we are saying. They have given unnecessary stress and risks to our security agencies in Nigeria”, he said.
“I say more than 100 security men have been killed in the course of providing security for lives and properties in Benue State in the course of implementing this our law”.
According to the governor, the affected security personnel include those of the army, police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
He commended security agencies for putting in their lives on the line to safeguard the people, especially as it regards tackling the killings by herdsmen.
The Benue governor also described the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) as a terrorist organisation for challenging state governors over the anti-open grazing laws in their respective domains.
“Tell me why Miyetti Allah, a terrorist organisation who has taken responsibility for killings will come to challenge governors that laws shouldn’t have been made,” he stated.
“We have not committed any evil, we have done the right thing by ensuring we are law-abiding. That was why we legislated and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that we are free to make laws as a state as long as it does not conflict with the provision of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”