President Muhammadu Buhari Monday said he was surprised to learn the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris disregarded his instruction to relocate to Benue over multiple killings in the state. At a stakeholders meeting held during his condolence visit to the state, President Buhari was told the IGP did not spend 24 hours in Benue.
“I am getting to know this in this meeting. I am quite surprised,” President Buhari said. The president was also said to have expressed genuine concern for the bloodletting that took place in the state.
“I cannot overlook the killings in Benue or any other part of Nigeria. I cannot do that. I am genuinely worried about the attacks in Benue and we are doing everything to end them,” he said.
He urged the people to pay more attention to farming, especially rice cultivation, saying that rice importation had dropped by 90 per cent since some states embarked on massive production of the commodity.
Benue Governor Samuel Ortom appealed to the President to upgrade the ongoing military exercise in the state tagged “Ayem Akpatema”, to a wider operation to effectively curb herdsmen attacks.
“If the exercise is upgraded to a wider operation, it will assist greatly in ending the incessant attacks and senseless killings by herdsmen,” he said
The governor reiterated his call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, alleging that the body was responsible for the killings in Benue.
He also called on the federal government to take over the management of the Benue University Teaching Hospital, College of Education, Katsina-Ala and Benue Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.
Malam Shetima Mohammed, a representative of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Benue Chapter, however, denied responsibility for the Benue attacks.
“Our association is a peace loving one and the exact opposite of what is being portrayed,” he declared.