…as fire razes 1,000 shops in Benue market


enue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday expressed worry that marauding armed Fulani herdsmen have now adopted guerrilla tactics to attack and kill innocent people in the state.

Besides, the governor hinted of the propensity for governors of the North-Central to establish a powerful security outfit that would take the shape of ‘Amotekun’ in the South-West to check the excesses of Fulani herdsmen in the region.

Governor Ortom, who spoke with journalists at the Government House, Makurdi, while giving an update of the security challenges confronting the state, lamented the continued influx of militant herders into communities in the state.

He also expressed grief over the inadequate number of policemen in most local government areas, the number he said was grossly inadequate to cater for the security needs of people in those areas.

“The security men are on ground, but like I keep saying, they are inadequate to take care of the entire state, considering the volume of the problem that we have, especially the crisis concerning farmlands.

“Then the external aggression coming from herdsmen has not stopped. They are using guerrilla tactics now; they come without cattle kill, burn down houses and move to the next village to do the same.

“I think we the North-Central governors are going to meet very soon; and I think there will be need for the establishment of a security outfit to check herdsmen attacks.

“For me as a person, we have not met at the regional level as North-Central governors, but I can assure you that there will be need to provide a security outfit that will compliment what the conventional security men are doing.”

Meanwhile, no fewer than 1,000 shops and goods worth hundreds of millions of Naira were yesterday gutted by fire at the Otukpo Main Market area in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State.

A witness, Ankeli Amanyi, told New Telegraph that the inferno started about 5a.m. and destroyed over 1,000 shops.

He said: “The fire was noticed about 5a.m. and it destroyed over 1,000 shops. No one could say for certain what caused the fire; we just noticed thick smoke from the market which drew the attention of people to the area.

“Actually, the fire fighters responded promptly but there was little they could do to put out the fire. The nature of the market did not pave way for vehicle to enter the market.

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