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Farmers-Herders Conflict: FG urged to extend operation whirl stroke in Benue, Nasarawa States

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As Benue, Nasarawa State governments adopt ranching

Godsgift Onyedinefu and Maureen Okpe

The federal government has been urged to retain the military Operation Whirl Stroke for at least two more years to address insecurity in both Benue and Nasarawa States in North Central Nigeria.

This is even as the Federal Government has been advised to embrace the Open Grazing Prohibition Law as parts of lasting solutions to the Farmers-Herders conflict in parts of the country.

This was contained in a statement obtained on Monday from the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State , Mr. Terver Akase, following the stakeholders between the Governors of Benue and Nasarawa States at the Government House Lafia, accompanied by delegations made up of top government officials and traditional rulers from the two states.

The meeting on Sunday, which was a follow up meeting to the earlier one in Makurdi on July 22 last year, gave Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Abdullahi Sule the opportunity to assess the progress so far made to sustain peace in border communities of the two states.

Both governors not only resolved to deepen ties but also encourage their people to entrench peaceful coexistence and embrace ranching is the global best practice of animal husbandry.
After thought-provoking deliberations, the meeting tagged: ‘Benue/Nasarawa Peace Meeting’, stated that ranching is the global best practice of animal husbandry adding that Ortom had done nothing wrong in enacting the law to promote ranching and prohibits open grazing.

They commended the open grazing law enacted by Ortom in 2015 even though it came with a lot of public debate and condemnation which later resulted to the crisis between the farmers and supposed herdsmen, which affected the farmers in Benue and those along the Nasarawa state boundary.

Recall that in the course of the crisis Governor Ortom was greatly criticised for putting the Benue people in harm’s way with out adequate security but the stakeholders have urged livestock owners and farmers to obey the law. They also agreed that Benue and Nasarawa States would sustain support given to security agencies to guarantee peace.

They further agreed that the return of internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes should be done gradually as the security situation continues to improve but cautioned those who beat drums of war to desist from such conduct and embrace dialogue as the best means of conflict resolution.

Here are the resolutions adopted at the meeting:

  1. Commended Governors Ortom and Sule for their peace initiative which has drastically reduced skirmishes on the border communities.
  2. Appealed to the Federal Government to retain (the military) Operation Whirl Stroke for at least two more years.
  3. Agreed that ranching is the global best practice of animal husbandry, and that Benue State did nothing wrong in enacting a law to prohibit open grazing and promote ranches establishment.
  4. Urged livestock owners and farmers to obey the law.
  5. Agreed that Benue and Nasarawa States should sustain support given to security agencies to guarantee peace.
  6. Agreed that the return of internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes should be done gradually as the security situation continues to improve.
  7. Cautioned those who beat drums of war to desist from such conduct and embrace dialogue as the best means of conflict resolution.
  8. The two Governors resolved to deepen ties and also encourage their people to entrench peaceful coexistence.


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