Benue Governor Calls For Army Deployment To Counter Farm Killings



Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has urged the Nigerian Army to deploy infantry soldiers to the state to address the issue of farmers being killed by suspected herders.

He also called for the establishment of a battalion at Ugbema and seven forward operating bases in Guma, Logo, Ukum, and Kwande Local Government Areas to enhance the response to these incidents.

News About Nigeria gathered that during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, at the Army Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, Governor Alia expressed his concerns.

While the current deployment of troops has increased security on the highways, killings continue to occur in the hinterland. This has hindered farmers’ access to fertile land for agricultural activities.

The governor pointed out the impact of this situation: “Now, two to five or more people are killed every week due to violence from these criminal groups, and in some cases, the media does not capture these events. The 401 Special Force Brigade is doing their best, but their deployment primarily focuses on the main roads, while the killings persist in the hinterland.”

Governor Alia expressed concern that some local governments in the state share a boundary with Cameroon. He added that the discovery of solid minerals in these areas could exacerbate insecurity.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, responded by stating that he had been reviewing the situation in Benue and pledged to take the necessary steps to restore peace to the Benue valley.

He assured the governor that more troops and combat enablers would be deployed to 104 forward operating bases. However, the establishment of additional forward operating bases is contingent on budgetary allocations.

Lt. Gen. Lagbaja emphasised the importance of infrastructure support for troop movement and logistics to enhance the army’s operations.

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