Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said the Fulani militia has been operating in collaboration with terrorist groups to sustain their attacks on the state and other parts of the country.
Ortom made the revelation in an interview with Epoch Times TV in Washington, DC, United States of America, hosted by Douglas Burton, the Chief Press Secretary to Ortom, Nathaniel Ikyur, said yesterday.
The governor cited security information available to him, which pointed to Boko Haram, (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) and armed Fulani herdsmen working for one agenda.
According to him, they are the same group of people operating under different names. His words: They collaborate by providing arms to them and doing the same thing by killing. Just like the Bible says, a thief cometh not but to steal, kill and destroy. So I have seen this collaboration in all these groups.
Ortom explained that the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state was his administration’s way of finding a solution to the lingering issue, which he noted has now exposed the agenda of the Fulani herdsmen to be beyond cattle grazing.
Dispelling the rumour that the insecurity was caused by farmer/herder crisis in Benue, the governor insisted that the attacks were unprovoked and coordinated by the armed invaders.
Most of the people, who are killed and whose homes are destroyed, are farmers. The insurgents coming for this Jihad go to attack villagers, not really in the urban areas. So, farmers live in the rural areas to engage in their farming activities.
I must say that whatever you hear in America here about what is happening in Nigeria, some people have the narrative that it is farmer-herder crisis.
It is not so. It is a dummy that has been sold to shield people from knowing the truth. The truth is that in America, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, people go into animal husbandry through ranching.
Several countries with more livestock than Nigeria, he noted, have no herders’ crisis. He cited Brazil with over 250 million herds of cattle and India with over 200 million, while Nigeria has less than 30 million.
He stressed that the security agencies were doing their best to curb the attacks, but regretted that such efforts were not enough, as such outfits lack the manpower to contain the attackers.
He challenged the Federal Government, if there is no hidden agenda, to convoke a national security summit where all stakeholders would be given the opportunity to proffer solutions to the security problems.
The governor expressed worry that his request for President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the procurement of automatic weapons for his Community Volunteer Guards to match the strength of criminals terrorising the state has yet to get a response from the Presidency.