Lawmakers demand state police, reject cattle colonies

Members of the Benue caucus in the House of Representatives, Adamu Antono (left); Dickson Tarkishi and Benjamin Wayo; at a press briefing on the killings in the state by suspected herdsmen in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

The Benue State caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday backed the establishment of state police.According to Takighir Dickson, who spoke at a press briefing, there was the need to vest in the 36 governors the power to establish and control the police force in their domains. He noted that the move was to check the ‘nefarious activities of killer herdsmen in Benue State’.

The lead speaker, John Dyegh, accused the heads of security of taking sides with the killer herdsmen. He said the ‘unsavory remarks’ by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, against Governor Samuel Ortom had further exposed the partisanship of the force. Dickson regretted that the police authority was only interested to overrule the anti-open grazing laws in the affected states.

The caucus, therefore, demanded the immediate resignation of the PPRO for alleged professional misconduct and partisanship, adding that he should be fired if he fails to resign. It directed the spokesman to withdraw his “drowning man” labelling of Governor Samuel Ortom and an unreserved apology by the IGP.

The statement reads: “Governor Ortom has done excellently well to protect the lives and property of all residents of Benue State within the limits of his powers and the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“We, therefore, stand with Ortom and support the full implementation of the anti-grazing law as the only panacea to resolving the perennial herdsmen attacks on our farmers and communities as well as a peaceful co-existence of all residents/inhabitants of Benue State.

“The caucus wants to sound very unequivocally that no amount of intimidation or killing of our people including pregnant women, children and unborn children would deter the governor and people of the state from insisting on the full implementation of the anti-grazing law.”

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