The newly elected LG Chairmen taking the oath of office in Makurdi

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom has warned that any Benue indigene who collects crumbs from Abuja to deflect the law prohibiting open grazing in the state could be stoned to death by the people of the state.

The Governor who sounded the warning Wednesday while inaugurating the newly elected 23 Local Government Council, LGC, Chairmen of the state, a Permanent Secretary and a Special Adviser in Makurdi noted that the law being a product of the people had come to stay.

The Governor who expressed surprise that leaders of the opposition in All Progressives Congress, APC, had at several fora allegedly expressed their desire to repeal the grazing law his administration enacted to stem armed herdsmen attacks in the state cautioned those nursing the idea to jettison it in their own interest.

The Governor said: “Those people should know that our people asked for the law to check the attacks and killings in our communities by the terrorists and that is what they have. Today close to two million of our people are living in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps because of the activities of these killer herdsmen.

“My people are in pains, and some people are in Abuja collecting crumbs and supporting the activities of our enemies and killers. But they must be told that Benue people are not fools and they will not hesitate to stone to death anyone who thinks he can come to Benue to support the take over of our land by herdsmen, deflect or repeal the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.”

The Governor who decried the negative impact of the armed herdsmen activities on agricultural production in the state pointed out that the state was suffering worsening food shortages “because our people cannot go to the farms and majority of the farmers are now residing in IDPs camps.”

He charged the new LGC Chairman to work hand-in-hand with security agencies as well as the Livestock Guards to enforce the grazing law in their respective localities.

While urging them to ensure security and good governance at the third tier of government, the Governor urged the Council Chairmen to prioritize the payment of Primary School Teachers and the Local Government Area Traditional Councils adding, “these and other statutory obligations should be put on First Line Charge to ensure the seamless operations of the Local Government Councils.”

The Governor also charged the newly appointed Special Adviser, Mr. Friday Abulu and Permanent Secretary, Terna Ayu to diligently discharge their responsibilities and congratulated the appointees and elected Chairmen on their deserved elevation.

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