Lafia, Jan. 12, 2018 (TNE) Gov. Tanko Al-Makura and other stakeholders in Nasarawa State have said the allegation by Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue that Nasarawa State is habouring killer herdsmen in Tunga, Awe local Government Area, was made in bad faith.
Al-Makura, while making a presentation at a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris in. Lafia on Thursday, described the allegation as “grievous, unacceptable and terribly speculative”.
He said the Benue governor’s accusation that Nasarawa State has camped killer herdsmen to attack his state is a stigma and an aspersion on the state,
“This is an unfair comment to make of Nasarawa State, especially that we enjoy very cordial relationship and can always be reached with any evidence in that regard.
“In any case, the onus of proof lies with the accuser and I will appeal to my colleague to avail security operatives with the details of where he thinks the killer herdsmen are being camped.
“I can assure you as the chief security officer of the state that we will give the police all the necessary support to comb every part of the state to ascertain whether there is any such thing,” Al-Makura added.
He said he had never received any security reports from the state either from security officer or his administrative, detail of the existence of such killer herdsmen camping in Nasarawa State.
Al-Makura pointed out that in Awe, where the killer herdsmen are said to be camped, has become a sanctuary for displaced persons, mostly of Tiv extraction, from both states.
Similarly, the Emir of Tunga, Alhaji Bala Galadima, expressed concern over the allegation,
He said there is no such camp in Tunga as the people in the area have a security apparatus in place to detect strangers among them.
Galadima said many Tiv people are fleeing their homes in panic because of the attacks in Benue and noted that farmers and herdsmen in the area have lived peacefully over the years.
The Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Mustapha Agwai I, described the statement credited to Ortom as hate speech and urged the stakeholders to condemn it.
He urged leaders to desist from making unguarded statements capable of breaching the peace.
The Emir of Azara, Dr Ibrahim Musa, said there is no crisis in Nasarawa State but panic attack orchestrated by poor implementation of the anti-open grazing law in Benue.
He called on the Federal Government to investigate the implementation of the law to ascertain the provision of ranches and other facilities as spelt out by the law in Benue.
However, some stakeholders of Tiv extraction in Nasarawa State said some of their kinsmen were killed in the attacks.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Gabriel Aka’aka, expressed worry over the alleged attack on Tiv people in the state when they have nothing to do with the anti-open grazing law in Benue.
He stressed the need for security reinforcement along the border communities to apprehend the “mysterious killers” in the areas.