Ortom declares three-day mourning for victims of herdsmen
Benue’s food security drops by 40-50%, says commissioner
Governor Samuel Ortom has declared three days of mourning for those killed in Logo and Guma local councils of Benue State.In a statement yesterday in Makurdi, the governor said the mourning period holds from today to Thursday and would be rounded off with a church service at the IBB Square and thereafter, a mass burial in the capital city.He said flags would fly at half-mast and work close at 1:00 p.m. today and tomorrow.
According to Ortom, Thursday will be work-free day to allow for full participation at the mass burial.Also yesterday, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, James Anbua, said the recent attack would lead to a 40-50 per cent drop in food security.
In an interview with The Guardian, he maintained that the devastation caused to farms in the two council areas, renowned for production of sorghum, groundnut, soya beans and rice, would result to famine since harvested crops were yet to be transported home.
His words: “It will obviously affect the food security of the state as the two local government areas that were attacked are among the most food-producing zones of the state.”
Describing the action as barbaric, Anbua decried that the people were slaughtered in their sleep and wondered why a highly placed official of government would turn up to give the action a communal colouration.
On the claim by the acclaimed national coordinator of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Garus Gololo, that the attack was a vengeance for 1000 cattle rustled by the communities, the commissioner dismissed the allegation as a mere propaganda.
Anbua went on: “That is a mere propaganda. If you see 1000 cows rustled and kept in a place, you will marvel. The man is a liar, he is just trying to cover the sins they have done to the people.
“And as a fact, I want Gololo to be arrested, prosecuted and made to prove his statement.”He, however, expressed commitment to boost agricultural produce by doubling efforts in the area of dry season farming.
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