Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has requested compensation for residents of North Bank area of Makurdi who were attacked by soldiers recently. He made the request during a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Friday.
The Governor who described the attack as unfortunate said, the military and the civilian community had enjoyed peaceful coexistence in the state and stressed the need for peace building measures.
He requested compensation for the victims most of who he said had lost their means of livelihood and commended the Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering (NASME) in the state for taking steps to ensure that the crisis did not escalate. Governor Ortom appealed for the recruitment of more indigenes of the state in the military on account of the previous sacrifices they made in uniting the country resulting in Benue having the second largest number of ex- servicemen in Nigeria.
He also expressed the willingness to host the annual Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Conference in Makurdi this year. In his response, General Buratai said that a commission of inquiry has been constituted to look into the attack, pointing out that those found culpable would be punished even as he promised to look into the Governor’s request. He urged the Governor to also consider military engineers in the award of civil engineering contracts, saying it had incorporated a company to execute such jobs.
General Buratai also requested for land for the Army’s property company to construct barracks and markets. Governor Ortom, on return to Makurdi, received relief materials from the Chinese Group Overseas Company (CGOC) for distribution to flood victims. The items included rice, flour, vegetable oil, and indomie.