Benue State government has again restated its call on the federal government to reconsider its decision to withdraw troops from volatile areas across the country as killer herdsmen are still lurking around most communities.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Animal Husbandry, Mr. Shehu Tambaya stated this while speaking to the Next Edition in Makurdi, on Sunday.
Tambaya warned that withdrawing OPWS from Benue at this period will endanger the lives of the people as the killer herdsmen are usually known to invade the state mostly during the dry season.
He insisted that this is not the right time to withdraw the military troops from troubled areas across the country and expressed the fear that if troops are withdrawn, hoodlums and criminal elements who have gone into hiding could come back to the streets to unleash mayhem on innocent Nigerians.
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Tambaya cited a case in Benue where thousands of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, are still in camps because their ancestral homes are still not safe saying if allowed to be withdrawn, the lives of IDPs and other Nigerians enjoying the comfort of their homes will be at risk.
He pointed out that deadly herdsmen are still in some remote villages in the state and urged the federal government to rescind its decision until it is ascertained that the villages are truely safe for residents.
“I tell you that any attempt to withdraw OPWS from Benue now can cause trouble because these killer herdsmen are not relenting at all. They are around and as soon as they know that the troops have been withdrawn, they will resume killing and that will not be good.
“That’s why we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to revisit this decision to gradually withdraw troops from Benue. Our state is not yet safe for that,” he added.
He however acknowledged the efforts of men of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) led by Major General Adeyemi Yekini, in ensuring adequate security in troubled areas across the state and urged them to keep up the good work.