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Benue governor accuses indigenes of inviting killer herdsmen into the state

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Terrorists kill four in fresh Benue attack

Benue State Governor Hyacinth Alia has warned that some of the state’s indigenes are importing herders from surrounding countries, such as the Niger Republic, to undermine his administration.

The governor made the statement while addressing the state’s people on Sunday at the Chapel of Grace, Government House, Makurdi, the state capital.

According to a statement issued by Donald Kumun, Principal Special Assistant on Print Media, and made accessible to journalists late Sunday, the governor urged the people to be calm, stating that security agencies would safeguard their safety.

Alia stated that individuals responsible for the migration of herdsmen into the state sent letters asking them to visit the state.

In a resumed onslaught, bandits killed four people in Ikobi, Apa Local Government Area, Benue State.

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Atule Amodu, a community leader, said the event occurred on Wednesday night.

The bandits were said to have stormed the quiet village, killing four individuals.

The state administration and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in the state were allegedly close to reaching a truce.

A peace meeting took place on Thursday, during which all groups discussed measures for restoring unity in Benue villages.

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The meeting was called by the state and included Miyetti Allah members from the state on one side and 23 local government chairmen, traditional rulers, and governor’s security advisers on the other.

According to the statement, the governor has vowed not to accept any attempt to destabilise the state.

The statement read in parts, “I am quite saddened to speak about what some fellow Benue citizens are doing. What they are planting, planning, and executing is not in favour of the state.

“The security report has revealed that some Benue indigenes have gone out of their way to invite herdsmen all the way from the Niger Republic to troop into Benue State.

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“All in the name of bringing down his administration, and this is unacceptable, but the security agents are doing their work.

“Security apparatuses are doing their work, and those who would be found guilty of this will not go unpunished. This is not the blessing we pray for. The electioneering period is over, and now it is governance.”

The governor stated that the herders who had arrived in the state would eventually return home.

He did, however, urge individuals who were unwilling to work with his government to advance the state’s development to leave.

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“Please, if you cannot join hands with this administration to improve the state and bring development to the state, where everyone has a sense of belonging, please leave the state.

“I assure the entire population that they should remain calm, for my administration is not ready to welcome any crisis in the state. The crisis is not part of Benue State.

“Security agencies are ready to do everything possible for the people to have peace. The influx of herders will not harm anyone, but they will return gradually to where they came from.

“The mischief makers who wrote a letter inviting herders to come to Benue State will be disappointed. I stand on the platform of the new Benue, where both human and infrastructure development is possible,” the statement added.

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The governor thanked the people of the state for their prayers and encouraged them to continue to support him and President Bola Tinubu’s government.

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