President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that he is not aware that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, did not heed his instruction in Benue state.
Recall that on January 9, about a week after 73 persons were killed in thestate by herdsmen Buhari asked Idris to relocate to Benue. Reports had it then that less than 24 hours after getting to Benue, the IGP abandoned the state and moved to Nasarawa.
On Monday, more than two months after the order, the president who visited Benue, expressed surprise when he was told that Idris did not spend up to 24 hours in the state.
Buhari said: “I’m not aware that the I-G did not spend 24 hours in the state as directed by me, I am getting to know in this meeting.”
He also said the meeting was not the best place to expose the inefficiency of his appointees and appealed to the Benue people to exercise restraint and live in peace with their neighbours.
The meeting was attended by farmers, herdsmen and government officials including senators and members of the house of representatives.
The president denied insinuations that he overlooked the killings that happened in the state, saying he is genuinely worried over them.
On his part, Governor Samuel Ortom appealed to the president to upgrade the ongoing military exercise in the state tagged “Ayem Akpatema” to an operation to effectively curb herdsmen attacks.
”If the exercise is upgraded to an operation, it will assist greatly in ending the incessant attacks and senseless killings by herdsmen,” he said
He urged Benue people to exercise restraints and learn to live in peace with other people.
He said that many states in the federation were now involved in massive cultivation of rice.
He reiterated his call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for “being responsible for the killings”.
Ortom still maintained that ranching was the best option for cattle breeding in the country.
He also called on the federal government to take over the management of the Benue University Teaching Hospital, College of Education Katsina-Ala and Benue Polytechnic Ugbokolo.
Representative of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Benue Chapter, Shettima Mohammed, denied responsibility for the Benue attacks.
He said the association was peace loving and the exact opposite of its public presentation by government officials.