Written by Scholastica JOSEPH

Middle Belt loses 75% IGR to Herdsmen Violence - Ortom

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has said the Middle-Belt region has lost their investments to the herdsmen invasion.

As a result of this, 75 percent of the region's Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) have been lost in the violence perpetrated by the herdsmen invaders, Ortom said.

Ortom disclosed this while speaking at the 2018 Middle-Belt Mega Rally, which held at the IBB Square in Makurdi, Monday.

He said for what is lost to be recovered and for Nigeria to move forward, everyone must be protected as provided for by the law.

According to him, both the majority and minority nationalities need each other for survival saying, "the minority groups in the country should not be taken for granted because they too are stakeholders in the Nigerian project".

He however, noted that the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, alleged to have been behind all the crisis in the region, were still moving freely and again called for their arrest.

In his remarks, the Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku commended the National Assembly for initiating a bill to establish state and local government police.

He sued for accelerated attention and passage of the bill saying the bill if passed and subsequently, signed into law, would go a long way to address the incessant killings particularly in the Middle-Belt region.

Ishaku said the theme of the event: Restructuring Nigeria and Reawakening: The Position of the Middle Belt, was apt considering the security challenges facing the country. 

"Killing people is another form of corruption and the worst of it all. When one steals one million, he is prosecuted but when some people kill innocent people in their sleep they are allowed to walk free. This must stop," he added.

Chairman of the Middle-Belt Forum, Elders Forum, Air Commodore (rtd) Dan Suleiman, urged the people of the Middle Belt to remain united and continue to march forward to greatness inspite of the challenges confronting the region.

He insisted that Nigeria must be restructured to give way to fair sharing of resources saying justice must be delivered to the people of the region.

Earlier Senator representing Benue North East, Senator Banabas Gemade, enjoined all nationalities in the Middle Belt to stand firm and work together as a people of same culture, race irrespective of their language or religion but as people of the Middle Belt to fight until the struggle to emancipate the Middle Belt is achieved.

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