MAKURDI – The Benue State Livestock Guards have impounded 105 cows and four sheep which were grazing openly.

During the operation, the guards also arrested one herder who may have already been handed over to the police for prosecution.

Linus Zaki, Commandant of the Guards who disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday, explained that the cattle were impounded while openly grazing near the Akawe Torkula College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi.

He explained that in accordance with the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, the impounded cattle would be quarantined for seven days before being auctioned, if the owners failed to pay the stipulated fine.

Zaki cautioned herdsmen against the consequences of flouting the law, stressing the need for ranching of all forms of livestock in the state.

This is even as the Tiv Youth Organisation (TYO) stated that comments credited to Senator George Akume representing Benue North East have given Myetti Allah Kautal Hore reason to attack the people of Benue again.

In a statement in Makurdi on Wednesday, TYO President, Timothy Hembaor, said the organisation was worried that, based on the statement, the herdsmen may carry out more attacks on his people.

He stated that while the Tiv nation condemned the utterances of Senator Akume, it also demanded an apology from the senator.

He said: “During the presentation of the Amnesty International’s report on herders and farmers crisis in Nigeria titled, ‘Harvest of Death’, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Engr. Saleh Alhassan, cited the statement of APC leader in Benue State, Senator George Akume, as confirmation that the people of the state are the ones killing themselves and not Fulani herdsmen.”

Amnesty International had reported that 3,641 lives had been lost to herdsmen attacks on farming communities and that Benue was the worst hit suffering 726 deaths in three years, with 57% of the killings recorded in 2018.

“We must add, out of the 726 deaths (it means) 70% of the lives lost are from Akume’s senatorial district (Benue North East),” he said.

Quoting Alhassan, the TYO President said Myetti Allah Secretary General had told a gathering of ambassadors and diplomats that “Senator Akume has told the whole world that it was Governor Ortom that recruited those that are responsible for the killings in the Benue valley”.

The TYO president, who described Saleh’s statement as a “mockery”, observed that “we are deeply worried by this development because Senator Akume has given Miyetti Allah group a reason to sponsor more gory attacks on innocent Benue communities.

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