Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has debunked media reports claiming he denied that there were no much killings in the state following attacks on some communities by suspected herdsmen.
Such reports according to him, were incorrect and do not reflect accurately what he said when he granted a joint interview with the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau in Abuja last Tuesday.
The Governor in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, said he was responding to a specific question which quoted an earlier media report that put the figure of those killed in the crisis last week at over 200.
According to him, though the casualty figure was not up to 200 in a single attack as reported, but that 22 persons had been killed during unprovoked attacks in Ukum and Logo local government areas.
The Governor has also expressed sadness and sympathy with those who lost loved ones, saying his administration is working hard demanding an end to the unwarranted attacks on Benue people.
He stated the unwarranted attacks have led to the loss of many lives and displaced thousands of people, stating that criminal elements were responsible for the lingering crisis.
According to him, he had briefed President Muhammadu Buhari and also met on different occasions with the Chief of Army Staff, the Minister of Interior, as well as the Inspector-General of Police to find a lasting solution to the security situation in the state.
Meanwhile the Governor has reassured the people of the state that he remains committed to the task of ensuring that they were free from attacks of any kind as it is evident in the support his administration has been giving security agencies to enable them perform their duties.
He is optimistic that the ‘Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill’ initiated by his administration when passed by the State House of Assembly would help in ending the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state.