Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi has said the security challenge in Benue state was a delicate one and must be handled with open mind and all seriousness.
Umahi made the statement yesterday when he led the National Economic Council Committee on farmers, herdsmen clashes to the state.
The Ebonyi state governor, who stood in as acting chairman for Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, the substantive chairman, said the committee was in the state to get the feelings of people of the state over the herdsmen, farmers’ crisis.
“We are here to tell you that we feel your pains, because whatever happens to Benue may affect other ethnic groups in Nigeria, and that is why in the national economic council meetings, the farmers, herdsmen crises were discussed extensively.
“We have heard the submission of Benue people and shall also try to hear the submission of security agents and herdsmen so that sustainable resolutions would be found. The herdsmen, farmers’ crisis is not a Benue problem alone but a national problem which requires national attention and solutions,” Umahi stressed.
The president general, Mzough U Tiv, Chief Edwin Ujege who spoke on behalf of Benue socio-cultural groups, said the people of Benue want peace, protection of lives and properties in accordance with Nigerian constitution.
He maintained that, since the crisis started in 2011 in the state, over 2,000 people had been killed, including women and children with properties worth N95billion destroyed.
He said before the law was enacted, 14 LGAs of the state were ravaged following attacks by the herdsmen.
Mrs. Rebecca Apendza, who spoke on behalf of women, said cattle were no federal government business and that the apex government had no right to allow herdsmen force citizens out of their homes to take over their land.
He said the attack on communities in the state had created untold hardship on the people, particularly women and children.
“For the past years children in Moor area of Kwande LG have stopped going to school because the place have been taken over by Fulani herdsmen.
“Our children are dying in the IDPs camps. Just yesterday, two children died in one of the camps.”