By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Titus Uba has promised to strengthen the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of 2017 if elected governor of the state in the coming elections to further stem herders attacks in the state
He assured that aside from strengthening the law, his administration would also give priority attention to the security and protection of the lives, properties, and well-being of all Benue people and everyone residing in the state.
The gubernatorial candidate who is also the Speaker of the State Assembly gave the assurance on Tuesday in Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area, LGA of the state while addressing party faithful and people of the area in the ongoing LGA campaign tour of his party.
He said, “we will build on the legacies of Governor Samuel Ortom, and in doing that we will among others strengthen the anti-open grazing law to check the activities of armed herdsmen and to protect the lives and property of our people. So let’s all cast our votes for PDP for the good of our state.”
Addressing the crowd, Governor Ortom restated his resolve to complete all ongoing projects initiated by his government before exiting office in May despite sustained attacks and killings being perpetrated in parts of the state by suspected armed herdsmen.
While lamenting the devastating effects of the attacks in the state, the governor said the development “has forced our farmers to abandon their ancestral homes to stay in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps and the implication is that we are now faced with acute food shortages.”
He expressed optimism that his successor, Mr. Uba who promised to strengthen the anti-open grazing law to check the excesses of the invaders would build on the successes of his government.
The Governor lauded traditional rulers in the Local Government Areas for supporting his administration in the fight against the conquest agenda of the invaders stressing that if not for his firm stand against the forceful takeover of the land of the people, armed herders would have overrun the state.
The lawmaker representing Benue North West District in the National Assembly, Senator Emmanuel Orker Jev, urged people of the area to vote all candidates of the party to rescue and rebuild the nation from total collapse.
Senator Jev cautioned eligible voters not to make the mistake of voting APC candidates in the forthcoming general elections ‘because doing so means inflicting more pains on the already suffering Nigerians.”
The paramount ruler of Gwer West, the Ter Tyoshin, Chief Daniel Abomtse, who spoke through Chief Lawrence Jir, urged the governor to beef up security in his domain to guard against fresh attacks on his subjects by the herdsmen whom he said were already laying siege on the local government.
The high point of the event which later moved to Makurdi was the defection of close to 4,000 supporters of the opposition parties to the PDP.