Insecurity: Ortom, stakeholders strike deal to end hostilities in Sankera axis

#TrackNigeria: Benue governor Samuel Ortom on Thursday met with stakeholders in Tiv land to brainstorm on the lingering hostilities in the Sankera axis.

The meeting with stakeholders from Ukum, Logo, Katsina-ala and Gboko Local Government, was initiated by Ortom as part of efforts to seek lasting peace to that region of the state.

Speaking with newsmen after the five-hours meeting held in Makurdi, Ortom declared that the participants “agreed that let there be peace not just in Sankera, but in the entire state”.

The communal crisis, mostly between Ukum and Shitile communities, recorded massive casualties, forcing the state government to impose a 24-hours curfew on Kastina-ala town on Monday April 22.

“The stakeholders deliberated extensively on all issues that have been facing the people and came to a conclusion that all forms of hostilities should seize forthwith.

“We all agreed that there should be peace not just in Sankera, but in the entire state.

“This decision has been conveyed to the entire Zone A Senatorial District. We are going to do a follow-up to ensure that we don’t have these issues again.”

On why he was yet to visit the warring communities, Ortom explained that it was the general opinion that the stakeholders should first meet to find out the problem that had culminated into that level of killings and destruction.

“We are definitely going to visit all the affected places,” he declared.

He disclosed that the Joint Committee between Taraba and Benue States, on the recent Jukun/Tiv crisis, would commence work next week following its inauguration on Wednesday.

The governor also ordered security personnel to intensify efforts to ensure that all those behind the atrocities were apprehended.

Also speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, admitted that there were issues among his subjects that bordered on hostilities and criminality.

Ayatse said that the traditional council had already issued a statement condemning the hostilities and also ordered the warring groups to sheathe their swords.

“We have issued a directive that there should be a seizure of hostilities. We are working together with the government to ensure that all these hostilities and criminality come to an end,” he said.  (NAN)