From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Members, Benue State House of Assembly are in Jos, Plateau State to under-study the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), the agency responsible in mitigating insecurity situations as a means of restoring peaceful co-existence in the state.
The Benue lawmakers on Tuesday visited their Plateau counterpart at the state Assembly complex, discussed modalities to possibly adopting some principles used in establishing the PPBA in February 2016.
The Majority Leader of the Benue legislators, Member representing Gwer West Constituency, Damian Cheme, who led the delegation to Plateau State, in an interview with journalists, shortly after the meeting, said that the aim is to safeguard and ensure safety, peaceful co-existence of all citizens in Benue State.
He said the Benue delegation shall also visit and interface with management of the PPBA to under-study its documents.
Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Yakubu Sanda, who represents Pengana Constituency appreciated the visit, and said it will go a long way in waxing the relationship between the two states.
Sanda noted that Plateau and Benue states are one, and should be seen to be learning good deeds from one another.
In separate responses, the Deputy Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Sale Yiomong, of Kantana Constituency, the Majority Leader, Daniel Nanlong of Mikang Constituency, and Timothy Dangtong, who represents Riyom Constituency said the two states and Nigeria are yearning for peace.
Dangtong praised the Benue State House of Assembly for enacting the anti-open grazing law, which he said Governor Samuel Ortom has implemented fully, and is protecting citizens from attacks by herders.
The legislators advised Benue state government to ensure that, whoever shall be appointed to head the Benue peace agency recently established through the enactment of a law by the state Assembly should be someone that is unbiased and devoid of any form of sentiments.
Commenting on the persistent attacks on Benue communities by suspected Fulani herders, Member representing Konshisha, Kefas Dyako said until the suspects respect and accept to practice laws of the land.
Dyako noted that the forceful take over of ancestral homes of Benue people was on the increase, and it’s worrisome.
On his part, the Minority Leader of the Benue House of Assembly, Member representing Tarka Constituency, Benjamin Mngutyo, commended Governor Ortom for protecting Benue citizens through anti-open grazing law.
Speaking during deliberation, a member of the delegation, and an adviser to Governor Ortom, on SDG’s, Dr Magdalene Dura, said the anti-open grazing law already in operation was not established to witch hunt anyone as it’s misconstrued in some quarters.
According to Governor Ortom’s aide, many Benue indigenes, who contravened the said law were duly punished accordingly, revealing that some are currently serving jail terms for the offenses committed.