Agatu: IGP Visits Markurdi, meets warring groups; deploys 4 additional units of Police officers.
Inspector- General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said on Thursday in Makurdi that the force had deployed enough policemen to end the clashes between Agatu farmers and herdsmen in Benue. Arase, who was on a fact-finding mission to the state, made the assertion at a joint stakeholders meeting between Agatu farmers and herdsmen.
He disclosed that the force had deployed additional four units of police teams to the area to arrest the situation.
“I am in Benue on the directives of Mr President on a fact- finding mission and to also see if there is a way to resolve the crisis.
“We have enough security officers to end the ongoing crisis between farmers and herdsmen in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue.
“We have also deployed additional four units of police teams in the area to arrest the situation. There is no way we can all live together without having disagreements with one another at some point; it is the way we manage the disagreements that matters.
“Both the farmers and herdsmen must learn to cohabit with one another as a nation for the peace and progress of our people.”
Mr Akpa Iduh who spoke on behalf of the Agatu people decried the continued unprovoked attacks on his people by `Fulani mercenaries.’
Iduh, who said that the crisis started over five decades ago, lamented that it had recently turned into a war because of the types of weapons the herdsmen were using against them.
He alleged that the `Fulani mercenaries’ were killing both children and pregnant women on sight, adding that they were powerless after embracing the Benue Amnesty Programme and surrendered illegal arms to government.
“The herdsmen are bent on turning our land into their grazing area, thereby rendering us homeless and without food.
“Is it because we are minority and poor that they are using their numerical advantage and wealth against us?
“We are going to remain in Agatu until the day they have succeeded in killing all of us.”
Ado Boderi, who spoke on behalf of the Fulani community, said that the crisis started as a result of killing of 10,000 cows by the Agatu people.
Boderi said that though the governor quickly intervened in the crisis, activities of some criminal elements from both sides led to the escalation of the crisis.
He said that they were a peace loving people, whose main concern was the problem of cattle rustling. Out of the 10 council wards in Agatu Local Government Area, only one ward was not affected by the bloody clashes.
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