Following uproar over reports that the Benue State government has ceded some land to Fulani herdsmen in Agatu, Governor Samuel Ortom has maintained that no land was ceded.
Ortom made the clarification to State House Correspondents after a visit to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa.
He said reports that the state government ceded land to herdsmen is being instigated by political opponents who are out to cause mischief.
Ortom said, “It is not the people who are saying this. The people who are saying this are outside Agatu people. This was a peace pact that was brokered by the Agatu people and the Fulani herdsmen.
“Myself and Governor of Nasarawa State were there to moderate and allow them. And the insinuation that part of the land was conceded to Fulani is false. It is being instigated by our political opponents who have nothing to sell the people.
“They want to use that to instigate the people against our government. But they cannot because we are sincere, God-fearing and truthful. We have ensured there is peace in our land.”
According to the governor in his own local government, herdsmen are moving freely and they are being monitored and relating with the farmers very well.
The governor recalled that in 2013, his house was razed down in one day and more than 50 of his kinsmen were killed and his rice farm burnt down.
He added that “But since I came in as a governor, I have brokered this peace and everything is moving on well. The Agatu people told us they are tired of the crisis and want to live a normal life.
“And for those Fulani herdsmen who were born and bred in Agatu land they should come back and live with them. But the foreign herdsmen who are violent and been causing destruction should not come near their territory.