Governors Abdullahi Sule and Samuel Ortom of Nasarawa and Benue States have on Sunday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari not to withdraw the military operation code named “Operation Whirl Strokes” in the two states.
The governors made the appeal at a joint security meeting of the two states in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, even as they said that they have written formally to the authorities concerned to stay put on the withdrawal till the situations on the border of the two states improves.
Leading discussion on the matter, Governor Sule suggested to the federal government to give the two states another two years to work on a complete master plan for the return of peace among citizens of the states living around the border line.
Sule argued that the withdrawal of the Operation Whirl Strokes at the moment as planned by the government would not augur well to the affected communities as security in such areas was still fragile.
He however applauded his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, for embracing the federal government’s National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) which according to him, “its implementation would go a long way to mitigating the skirmishes between herders and farmers in the two states.”
Also speaking, Governor Ortom insisted that the Benue State anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law has come to stay in the state, even as he called on governments at all levels in the country to support herdsmen with incentives as being done to farmers.
Ortom continued by appreciating his host, Governor Sule, for initiating the peace process for the two states and pledged to be committed to anything that will add peace to the states.
The Emir of Lafia and chairman of the Nasarawa State Traditional Council, Justice Sidi Bage (Rtd), on his part appealed to the Benue State governor to review the state’s anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law to have soft landing.
The Nasarawa monarch however commended the governor and people of the state for coming up with the anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law to protect their lives and property.
Some of the issues that took center stage at the meeting was the anti-open grazing law, withdrawal of operation whirl strokes and the need to sustain the existing peace currently enjoyed by the two states.
The meeting had in attendance security Chiefs, traditional rules and top government officials from the two states.