Foreign herders holding Nigerians to ransom, says Ortom

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John Alechenu, Abuja

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to push for a review of the ECOWAS protocol for movement of persons, goods and services within the sub-region.

He made the call at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday. Ortom noted that foreign herders were taking undue advantage of the protocol to fuel insecurity in Nigeria.

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The Governor said, “In neighbouring countries like Ghana and Benin, people are properly profiled before they are allowed into the county. People coming into Nigeria have to be properly profiled before they are allowed in. It is there in the ECOWAS protocol, I have studied it, I have my lawyers to also study it.

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“Most of the herdsmen killing our people are not even Nigerians, even the president himself said this during his visit to the United Arab Emirates.”

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Speaking about the benefits of the law prohibiting open grazing in Benue State, Ortom said, “The legislation we have in place in Benue is responsible for the relative peace we are enjoying.

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“We have arrested and prosecuted over 400 herdsmen since the law came into effect. We have had 150 convictions. Some convicts were fined and released, others are still in Makurdi Correctional Centre.”

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