Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State have called for the postponement of the forthcoming 2023 census until adequate security was restore nationwide and Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs) in the North Central geopolitical zone are resettled.
Ortom made this call on Thursday when he hosted the leadership of the Middle Belt Forum who were in the state to commiserate with him over the killing of over 134 persons in one week.
The attacks occurred in the Mgbam community in the Guma Local Government Area. The attacks were allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen in Apa, Otukpo and Guma areas of the state.
The leadership of the Middle Belt Forum commiserated with the governor and used the occasion to appeal to the National Population Commission to shift the census start date from May 3, 2023, an appeal that resonated with the governor.
According to Ortom, many lives have been lost to these attacks on benue communities in the last six years. He further explained that the state’s anti-grazing law subsists and will be enforced after a two-week of grace to allow herdsmen to exit the state.
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He again called on president Muhammadu Buhari to match his sympathy message with actions by ensuring that his directive to security operatives to fish out sponsors and killers of Benue indigenes for prosecution was followed to the latter.
Ortom further commended the Middle Belt Forum for always been responsive to the plight of people in the region, especially Benue, noting that people in the region were peace loving and law abiding and committed to the unity of the country