Thursday, November 10, 2016 11:09 pm
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has stated that the dialogue of all stakeholders was needed to sustain peace in Agatu local government area.
Speaking during a state security council meeting with the people from the area at Obagaji today he disclosed that he and his Nasarawa State counterpart would visit Agatu to discuss lasting peace with leaders of the community and those of the herdsmen.
He said they had resolved on the visit during a joint Security Council meeting of the two states before the last crisis erupted.
According to him ranching remained the permanent solution to the perennial clashes between farmers and herders but that since it was a long term measure dialogue to achieve peaceful coexistence was an imperative.
Governor Ortom called on youths in the area who were in possession of arms illegally and were using them for criminal activities to surrender them or face arrest and prosecution saying the police and soldiers have been drafted to the area to secure it and that self help was not needed.
He announced that the state security council had set up committees at various levels in the state to monitor and nip security challenges in the bud.
State Police Commissioner, Mr Bashir Makama urged the people to sustain the peace by being law abiding and reporting infringement on their rights to the relevant quarters for appropriate action rather than taking the law into their hands.
He reiterated the Governor’s directive for the surrender of illegal arms and pledged to track and arrest those in possession of such if they did not turn them over.
Others who spoke included a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Solomon Agidani, Mr Moses Agbo, for the political class, Aboje Otene for the youths, the Sole Administrator, Mr Mike Inalegwu, as well as second class traditional ruler, Chief Godwin Onah, commended the Governor for his intervention during the crisis as well as the ongoing road construction and electrification projects in the area.
They solicited rehabilitation of those affected by the crisis, provision of jobs for youths of the area as well as the completion of a Skills Acquisition Centre started in the area.
The Och’Idoma, Dr Elias Obekpa, represented Chief John Antenyi, thanked the Governor for moving the entire security council to Agatu which he described as unprecedented and urged him to also work with his Nasarawa and Kogi State colleagues as well as the federal government to disarm the other parties to the conflict.