Act before herdsmen drag Nigeria into civil war, Ortom tells Buhari

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to act swiftly before the killer herdsmen drag the nation into another civil war. 

In a letter to the president, Governor Ortom said the security challenges faced by the country have assumed new dimensions where the now emboldened assailants and armed herdsmen daringly enforce their will on legitimate owners and occupants of ancestral lands.

According to the governor, there are many areas of concern over the Federal Government’s actions and inactions, including the widely discussed concern over inequalities in key appointments.

Ortom was of the opinion that the seemingly nepotistic appointments have reinforced the perception that the Buhari-led administration is not fair and just to all Nigerians.

The governor while asserting that he is a major stakeholder in the Nigeria project,  said he has a responsibility to raise major concerns regarding insecurity and to offer some recommendations towards addressing them.

As part of his recommendation on how to deal with the herdsmen crisis and insecurity in general, Governor Ortom asked the Federal Government to develop a National Ranching Policy in line with global best practice in animal husbandry.

He further asked President Buhari to direct the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to enforce Prohibition of Open Grazing Laws passed by various States of the federation.

Ortom also sought that the Open Visa policy be abolished, adding that relevant security agencies should be directed to ensure full compliance with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transhumance.

The Benue state governor urged the Federal Government to immediately pay compensation to families killed and those whose properties were destroyed by the herdsmen in various communities across the country.

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He also told the government to condemn the atrocities perpetrated by armed herdsmen; arrest and prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and other Fulani Socio-cultural groups who have consistently admitted to the wanton killings and destruction of communities across the country.

Proscribing Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Fulani Nationality Movement, Fulani Herders Association, and other violent Fulani extremist groups, as was done in the case of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB),  was also one of Ortom’s proffered solutions to the herdsmen crisis.

As part of his suggestions on ways to tackle the killer herdsmen terrorizing parts of the country, Ortom urged President Buhari to see to it that law-abiding Nigerians are licensed to carry weapons in self-defense.

Above all, Ortom asked President Buhari to ensure that justice, fairness, and equity are evident in all issues relating to public safety and security.

Below is the full letter as written by the Benue State governor.