Benue Governor Warns Of Food Scarcity In Nigeria Next Year Over Attacks By Herdsmen
BEVERLY HILLS, March 31, (THEWILL) – The Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom has warned unless the federal government takes drastic measures against the prevailing insecurity in the state, the country will be experiencing scarcity of food items by next year, noting that the Benue people, who have been turned victims of attacks by herdsmen, are predominantly farmers for which the state is reputed as the food basket of the nation.
Ortom expressed this fear on Wednesday during the visit of the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camp in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, who donated 200 bags of rice, cartons of cooking oil, tomatoes, cartons of milk and other essential materials.
He warned that the drop in oil prices at the international market had left the country and the state with no other option than to boost agriculture for the survival of the economy, but that the nation risks starvation if the activities of the strange herdsmen are not checked.
“The various IDP camps indicate that we are under siege in Benue. The destruction in the state is more than the insurgency in the North-east and if the federal government does not rise to stop this insurgency, there will be no food in Nigeria next year,” he said.
The Governor further claimed that the herders terrorising many local government areas in the state were foreigners from Niger, Mali, Chad, Ghana and Senegal among others, and not the normal Fulani herdsmen who, he said, had lived peacefully with citizens of the state.
In her remarks, Mrs. Osinbanjo commiserated with the people of Benue over the recent loss of lives and property in Agatu as well as other communities in the state after the invasion by herdsmen, noting that her visit was on behalf of the president's wife, Mrs Aisha Buhari.
“Benue is like a child to the country and when a child is in crisis, the country cannot be at peace. Coming here, I have seen what problem the crisis has caused. I have seen the pains elderly men and women are facing, having to live without shelter and what the children are going through, living hopelessly without attending schools and not knowing when they will go home and move about freely,” she said.