The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said on Thursday the criminal herdsmen currently holding Nigerians to ransom in various parts of the country are foreigners who sneaked into the country to cause havoc.
Ortom, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his position to push for a review of the ECOWAS protocol on the movement of persons, goods, and services within the sub-region.
According to him, the foreign herdsmen were taking undue advantage of the relaxed ECOWAS protocol to fuel insecurity in Nigeria.
The governor said: “In neighbouring countries like Ghana and the Benin Republic, people are properly profiled before they are allowed into the county.
“People coming into Nigeria have to be properly profiled before they are allowed in.
“It is there in the ECOWAS protocol; I have studied it, I have my lawyers to also study it.
“Most of the herdsmen killing our people are not even Nigerians. Even the President himself said this during his visit to the United Arab Emirates.”
On the law prohibiting open grazing in Benue, the governor added: “The legislation we have in place in Benue is responsible for the relative peace we are enjoying.
“We have arrested and prosecuted over 400 herdsmen since the law came into effect.
“We have had 150 convictions. Some convicts were fined and released. Others are still in Makurdi Correctional Centre.”
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