Fulani herdsmen take over Plateau Varsity – VC

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…As Foreign national indicates to be among 4 militants killed in Afghanistan***

Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University in Bokkos, Prof. Docknan Decent Sheni, has raised the alarmed over deathly grazing of cattle by Fulani herdsmen in the University premises.

Prof. Sheni stated this yesterday during a press briefing at the University in Bokkos explaining that despite the arrest of Fulani herdsmen who carry out aggressive grazing in the university premises, the menace had continued unabated.

“There are security challenges in the university because the institution has not been completely fenced, we have seen several strange persons within the university who constitute threat to lives and properties.

“Our greatest challenge is the aggressive grazing carried out by herdsmen within the premises of the University. Lectures will be going on and cattle will be roaming around, up to the administrative block and this is not pleasant to the system.”

Prof. Sheni revealed that the institution has lost two persons due to insecurity and they are working hard to stop grazing in the University. “We cannot allow that to continue because we don’t know the motive behind that, we have seen how people have been butchered in different part of the country by suspect herdsmen and we don’t want that to happen to any of us.

He lamented that female students have also been harassed by suspected hoodlums who jumped through the fence at night with the intension of raping and causing untold hardship on students.

The VC said the University does not condone activities of cultism and vowed to expel any student found wanting.

He explained that the institution has suffered several executive inferences which constituted a clog on the wheel of development, saying it’s operated for 12 years without accreditation.

Prof. Sheni noted that two set of students who graduated could not be mobilised for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) due to lack of accreditation of courses by NUC until 2015.

He said the University has recorded tremendous improvement in infrastructure and man power development where it has the capacity to admit 150 students unlike previous years that the admission was restricted to 300 students.

In another development, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has reiterated that the claim by his Plateau State counterpart, Simon Lalong that he was warned against the enactment and implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law was untrue.

Ortom stated this during a meeting between the Federal Government committee on herdsmen and farmers crisis and Benue stakeholders at the Government House in Makurdi.

Ortom who was reacting for the first time after Lalong told State House Correspondents some weeks back that he warned him against promulgating the law but he (Ortom) refused to heed his warning stated that at no time did Lalong warn him against the law.

His words: “At no time did governor Simon Lalong warned me against enacting the law. He said Lalong must mind his business and let me mind my business.

The Governor commended the committee led by the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi for deeming it fit to visit Benue first on a fact finding mission in the task of finding sustainable resolutions to the farmers/herders skirmishes in Nigeria.

He particularly appreciated the committee for choosing Benue state as its first port of call and expressed optimism that the visit would afford the members the opportunity to see things for themselves.

“We choose the path of Peace in a civilized way to tackle the crisis even when Fulani herdsmen are killing our people like chickens. We remain committed to this course in ensuring that we live in peace. We must not accept the total deceit that is going on in the country. The anti-open grazing law started smoothly until Miyetti Allah issued a threat which was actually carried out by them. Therefore, l want to urge the committee to work assiduously to bring justice to Benue.”

On his part, leader of the Federal Government delegation to Benue and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi condemned the killings in Benue and other parts of the country noting that the crisis in Benue state was a delicate one which must be handled with open minds.

Umahi said: “We are here to tell you that we feel your pains because whatever happened in Benue may affect other ethnic groups in country. That is why at the national economic council meetings, the issue of Farmers and herdsmen crisis were discussed extensively after which agreement was reached that a nine man committee be set up to proffer sustainable solutions to the crisis between the farmers and herdsmen,”

The Ebonyi state governor also posited that insinuations in some quarters, especially on the social media, that the Federal Government had directed states to allocate 5000 hectares of land for cattle colonies was not true, stressing that at no time did Federal Government gave such directives.

Umahi who noted that the herdsmen/farmers crises is not just a Benue problem but a national problem, maintained that it was for that reason that in one of their meetings, it was agreed that a sub-committee should be set up to visit the four most affected states including Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Plateau states to interact with the people and get their submission.

“We have heard the submission of the Benue people and shall also try to hear the submission of the herdsmen so that sustainable solutions can be found to the problem. The herdsmen/farmers crisis is not a Benue problem alone but a national problem which require national attention and solutions.  Several persons earlier spoke on the clashes between  herders and farmers including; the president general, Mzough U Tiv, Chief Edwin Ujege, Pastor David Ogbole, Justice Benard Hon, Chief Daniel Abomtse among others.

Meanwhile, four suspected Taliban insurgents, including a foreign national, have been killed in Badakhshan province of Afghanistan.

A spokesman of Afghan’s Army in the region said the militants were killed when government forces stormed a base of Taliban group in Jurm district of the northern Badakhshan province on Tuesday.

“The security forces launched a well-coordinated attack against a base of Taliban rebels in Pul-e-Ali Maghal area of Jurm district early today.

“They killed four insurgents, including a foreign national, on the spot and injured seven others,’’ the spokesman, Ghulam Karimi, told newsmen in Faizabad.

According to him, the foreign national killed in the attack is from Tajikistan.

Karimi, however, said that no security personnel were hurt in the operation.

Meanwhile, locals said that Taliban militants attacked the government forces’ checkpoints in Sheikh Wali area of Jurm district.

Taliban militants are yet to make comments on the situation.

Additional report from Citizen