The Nigerian Army has denied allegations that its men in Benue state are shielding Fulani Herdsmen.
The President of the Mzough U Tiv (MUT), Chief Edward Ujege, in a statement, alleged that the troops deployed to the state have ulterior motives.
In his reaction, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 707 Special Forces Brigade, Major Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni said the allegation is false.
According to Daily Post, Ayeni said that the Army is in Benue to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order.
He also said “All that the army needs to do here is to ensure that no Benue resident is killed or displaced from their homes, that is all we are doing. We want to ensure peaceful coexistence among the herders and farmers. We are not saying the Fulani herdsmen should not obey the anti-open grazing law enacted by the Benue State government.
“Let me inform you that we had arrested a Fulani herdsman yesterday and two others that wanted to attack Governor Ortom’s farm in Guma and with all these successes you should know that Operation Ayem A Kpatuma is not in support of any group and is not in the pursuit or criticising any group.
“Our role is to make sure that Benue State is peaceful and one of the ways we are going about it is for the herders to know that either a Tiv man or an Idoma man or Igede man is a Nigerian like him and a herder who is not violent now is their brother.
“However in the course of the military exercise if we find a violent herdsman that want to kill or displace any person in Benue State, we get him arrested and that is why we arrested two people two weeks ago, and arrested another one for preventing the Tiv people from been peaceful in their own environment.
“So the way and manner we go in achieving a peaceful environment in Benue State especially in Guma and Logo local government areas of the state and Katsina-Ala local government is by using this psychological method to test these people that we are friends, don’t fight or pursue the other because we are one family. But however, if you saw anyone who want to kill you, report and we will get that person arrested and deal with him according to the law.”
Powerful people threaten Benue Governor
The Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom,recently said that some powerful people at the Federal level are threatening his life.
He said that he has been receiving threats because of his resolve to go ahead with the anti-open grazing law.
Ortom also regretted that he is being persecuted for standing for what is right.