By IKANA ADAKOLE, Otukpo
In their renewed efforts at ensuring peaceful coexistence, the governments of Benue and Nasarawa States have resolved to grant Fulani herdsmen unhindered access to and across river Benue.
This was part of the resolution contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a joint security meeting between Governors Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State and his Benue State counterpart, Governor Samue Ortom on Thursday at the Government House, Lafia.
“In furtherance of the efforts of the Governors of the two States to ensure sustainable peace among the ethnic groups in the two States, particularly, communities living at the border areas of the two States, their Excellencies Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and Samuel Ortom, Governors of Nasarawa and Benue States respectively convened this meeting,” it informed.
The two States agreed to tackle the problem of insecurity frontally by intensifying surveillance and patrol activities in their border areas.
They also agreed to identify the perpetrators, sponsors/financiers of the heinous crime and be made to face the full wrath of the law;
The governors agreed to find and expose routes and hideouts being used by criminal gangs and their collaborators;
Fulani herdsmen were advised to refrain from trespassing and occupying farmlands and communities, while the farmers and herdsmen were equally advised to refrain from taking laws into their hands at the slightest provocation, they should endeavor to report any trespass or breach of their rights to the constituted authority nearest to them;
“Every community should take security issues seriously and as a matter of priority establish a local security committee comprising community leaders, security personnel, youth and vigilante groups. The Committee should undertake advocacy and enlightenment, profiling of migrants into communities and mopping of illegal arms and ammunition as well as disarmament on both sides;
“The two Governors should jointly visit Agatu areas on both sides of the two States with a view to pacifying the already aggrieved people of Agatu extraction.
“Regular visit on each other by Traditional Rulers and Chairmen of Local Government Councils from Nasarawa and Benue States, particularly those at the border areas,” the communiqué informed.
In ensuring that peace is sustained, they also agreed to the establishment of Joint Security Committee for the two States to ensure total disarmament by both communities in Nasarawa and Benue States with membership as follows.