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Ortom: Herdsmen/farmers clashes claimed 1,878 lives in Benue from 2013 to 2016

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Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue said on Wednesday that 1,878 lives were lost to the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state, between 2013 and 2016.

Ortom, while receiving Mr Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator, who led a UN delegation on a courtesy visit to his office, said that the killings cut across 12 local governments.

Quoting a report from a research conducted by the State Emergency Management Agency and Benue Planning Commission, in collaboration with NGOs, he said that 750 persons were seriously wounded while 200 others were still missing.

He said that 99,427 households were affected, while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.

“A 2014 survey, conducted by the Benue Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, found out that the destruction by herdsmen exceeded N95 billion in 10 local governments in that year alone,” he said.

The governor urged the UN to support the state’s efforts to tackle the challenge “in view of its destructive effects”.

Earlier, Kallon had assured the governor that the UN would provide assistance to the state to enable it tackle its security challenges.

The UN official promised to provide institutional architecture targeted at preventing conflict in Benue, and sympathised with Ortom and the Benue people over the perennial crises.

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