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Famine looms in Nigeria, says Gov. Ortom

The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the sustained attacks on Benue communities by suspected herdsmen could lead to food insecurity in the country.

He stated this on Thursday at the Government House in Makurdi, during a courtesy call on him by the Presidential Committee on Rehabilitation of communities affected by farmers and herdsmen crisis.

Governor Ortom said: “the renewed attacks on Benue communities is coming at a time when farmers are harvesting their produce and the crops are being used as feeds for cattle after invading and displacing farmers.

“My concern is that our people are still in IDP camps when agricultural activities such as preparation of land for the next cropping season are approaching. This is a sign of famine.”

While tasking the committee on amplification of the Benue voice for the need to embrace ranching as a global best method of animal husbandry, the Governor said what was happening in Benue was an invasion for occupation and not grazing as being alleged in some quarters.

He wondered which hate speech could be worse than issuing threats of attacks and executing same.

Governor Ortom called for the reconstruction of ravaged communities and provision of public amenities including portable drinking water, provision of agricultural inputs and credit facilities, adding that the attacks had caused social, emotional and psychological damage to Benue people.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and Director of relief and rehabilitation of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi said they were in the state to carry out an assessment of damages caused to communities with a view to rebuilding them.

He sympathised with the government and people of the state over the massacre of Benue people by Fulani herdsmen.

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