Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Saturday said it was time to stop crying over the unabated attacks unleashed on people of the state by marauding herdsmen.
Ortom stated this at the Banquet Hall of the Government House during a media parley to mark his second year in office in his second tenure.
Hundreds of people have been killed in Benue State by suspected herdsmen in recent times.
Ortom said it was now time for action to protect the people of the state.
He said this propelled the activation of vigilante groups across the state, saying they should be allowed to carry arms to protect their communities.
Ortom said, “A few weeks ago, Benue stakeholders met and gave this administration the mandate to activate and implement the Community Volunteer Guards Law enacted in 2000.
“We have already commenced the process of recruiting responsible people of 50 years and below into the Volunteer Guards. Their duty is to support the conventional security agencies in defending their communities. We have cried enough. We will cry no more. Now is time for action.”
Ortom said that the incessant herdsmen attacks on the state would not in any way force his administration to repeal the anti-open grazing law but would rather strengthen the law to stiffen the penalties.
He said, “Let me remind those who think that sustained attacks on the Benue people will force us to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law that they are making a mistake.
“This law has come to stay and no amount of intimidation can make us repeal it. Instead, we will soon amend the law in order to increase the penalties against offenders.”
The governor, who highlighted his achievements in the past six years, promised to continue to meet the yearnings of the people of the state as resources permit.