The governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom, on Monday lamented the level of insecurity in the state, blaming it on a notorious criminal, Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Gana.
According to Ortom, Gana, who he said was trained by terrorist Boko Haram, has made three local government areas in the state unsafe and is responsible for the kidnappings happening between Benue and Taraba states.
The governor made this known after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
He said, “He (Gana) is the one instrumental to the Kidnappings happening between Benue and Taraba State. All forms of criminality – armed robbery, assassinations and so on. The community too have given up because as at today, the three local governments of Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum are not safe.
“No educational, farming, commercial activities are going on, the Igbos that are major traders have vacated. With operation Y Stroke we are going to move against them and we believe we will be able to surmount them.”
When asked about the state anti-open grazing law, he said it is operational and that 50 persons have been convicted in the state for not adhering to the law.
He said, “On herdsmen and farmers, the place is relatively peaceful. The law is being implemented and we have arrested 400 people irrespective of their ethnic background, whether Fulani, Igbos, Yoruba, Tiv, Idoma and we have convicted 50 people for contravening various offenses and we have seized more than 2,000 cattle.
The law is still in force in Benue State and we are implementing it. Everyone is free to establish a ranch; we are not targeting any individual or group. Anyone who wants to do cattle business should come to Benue and ranch, that we have land for it but for open grazing we have no land.”