Clashes between cattle herdsmen and farmers has claimed several lives and destroyed properties worth billions of naira in Benue state.
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue government disclosed to Newsmen on Wednesday that 1,878 lives were lost to the lingering clashes between community farmers and herdsmen in the state, between 2013 and 2016.
The governor Ortom, while receiving Mr Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator, who led a UN delegation on a courtesy visit to his office, disclosed to all the delegate and the general public that the clashes between farmers and herdsmen killings cut across the 12 local governments of the state.
According to a research report from carried out by the State Emergency Management Agency and Benue Planning Commission, in collaboration with Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs, it stated that 750 persons were seriously wounded while 200 others were still missing in the 12 local government of the state.
Furthermore, 99,427 households were affected, while property worth billions of naira was destroyed.
“A 2014 survey, conducted by the Benue Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, found out that the destruction by herdsmen exceeded N95 billion in 10 local governments in that year alone,” he said.
The alter ego of the state, governor Ortom urged the UN to support the state’s efforts to tackle the challenge “in view of its destructive effects”.
Earlier, Edward Kallon had also assured the people of Benue state and the governor that the UN would provide assistance to the state to enable it tackle its security challenges.
The UN official promised to provide institutional architecture targeted at preventing conflict in Benue, and sympathised with Ortom and the Benue people over the perennial crises.
The mechanism would pave way for peace, and ensure that the farmers and herdsmen are both protected from engaging in fracas that will further leads to lost of lives and destruction of properties across the state.