By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Wednesday, disclosed that some Fulani herdsmen had been arrested with various firearms following the recent killings of farmers in parts of the state.
Ortom, who spoke when he hosted members of the Movement Against Fulani Occupation, MAFO, in Makurdi noted that those apprehended were being investigated.
The governor said it was regrettable that in spite of the massive destruction of lives and properties in several local government areas across the state by the herdsmen, not even one person had been arrested for prosecution.
According to him: “If the arrests and prosecution of those culpable were made from the onset, it would have served as a deterrent to others who engage in the heinous crime.”
The governor disclosed that an executive bill would soon be forwarded to the state House of Assembly to legalize ranching and noted that activities of MAFO had added value to what his administration stood for.
He called on the Federal and State governments to evolve a roadmap to help herdsmen establish ranches, but not at the expense of farmers
Earlier, one of the leaders of MAFO, Pastor Dave Ogbole, said its activities included the institution of a judicial process against the Federal Government at the ECOWAS Court as well as the organization of rallies and protests to draw national and international attention to Fulani herdsmen’s continued attacks and occupation of several parts of the state.