From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Following the influx of herders and cows into the state, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has pledged to personally go to the villages where the herdsmen are flooded to arrest breakers of the anti-open grazing law.
Speaking at the official launch of Anti-retroviral Therapy Surge Response and Undetectable Equals Untransmittable U = U held in government house, Makurdi yesterday Ortom said that the state has been enjoying relative peace since the enactment of the anti-open grazing law.
He intimated that over 400 herdsmen have been charged to court and convicted for flouting the anti-open grazing law.
He said, “Over 400 people have been charged to court and convicted, they are not only fulani herdsmen, we have Tiv, Idoma and Igede but the fulanis are more.
“Now that am back, I will personally go to those areas (where fulani herdsmen have invaded with their cows) to enforce the law.
Speaking on the strange illness that ravaged part of the state recently, the governor said that the report he had indicates that the cause of death of five(5) persons and the sick ones was as a result of chemical used by the villagers to fish in the water which they also used for domestic use.
He said that contrary to social media report that the strange illness was coronavirus or Lassa fever, the governor explained that there is no coronavirus in Benue.
On the fight against HIV, the governor promised that his administration was commitment to creating an enabling environment to all partners to tame the epidemic.
He further charged traditional rulers, religious leaders and civil society organizations to join hands to fight the disease by creating awareness and remove stigmatization and discrimination.
Earlier, the U.S, Mission in Nigeria, Charge d’ Affairs, Kathleen Fitzgibbon said that the mission is committed to HIV free society just as she disclosed that the U.S had spent over 5 billion dollars in the fight against the disease in the country.