A group of professional media practitioners from Benue State, under the aegis of Conference of Benue Journalists(CBJ), have called on the federal government to urgently take steps improve security situation in Benue State, particularly in the rural areas of the state.The group in a statement at the end of its meeting in Abuja, over the weekend, said that it has become necessary to call on the federal government to beef up security in rural areas of the state, which have in recent times witness attacks that resulted into the loss of several lives, and many rendered homeless.

According to the statement signed chairman of the group, Emmanuel Iffer, said that the federal government must act fast so as to stem the increasing security situation in both Benue and neighbouring Nasarawa, which apart from the loss of lives, has brought about untold hardship for indigenes of the two state.? We urge the government of the federation to quickly do all that is necessary in checking the growing insecurity challenges facing our people, especially those at the rural areas, with the view to halting the sad situation, and also restoring confidence amongst the people?The statement also quoted Iffer as  recalling the series of attacks on communities in Benue and Nasarawa states that had not only resulted into the loss of lives, which included some military officers, but also displaced several members of these communities.

He noted that between May and July this year alone, these communities have witnessed three major attacks, which left many deaths in Agatu and Guma local government areas of Benue state.?It is sad that between May and July of 2003 alone, we have seen three heavy attacks on, Okpancheni and Ekwo, all in Agatu local government area, and other attacks of same magnitude on communities such as; Akuloko, in Guma local government area.?Our fear is that if something is not urgently done to end this, we may also experience food crisis in the country, since these are mainly farming communities?The group also commended both the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura, for their efforts in curtailing the security situation in the two states.   

 

Similarly, the group commended the federal government?s decision to construct a by-pass from Doma, in Nasarawa State to Abuja, and the promise  to also complete the dualisation of the Makurdi-Lafia-Abuja expressway.?it is our believe that when fully dualised,  the road would reduced the carnage on that road, and also improve economic actives of indigenes of the two states, as well as that several other Nigerians, who regularly travel that road which is equally a major link between north and south of Nigeria.? We however, want to plead with the federal government to extend the dualisation beyond Makurdi, to cover Otukpo-Enugu road as well, because of the hardship users of the road go through daily?The group had in 2001, made a similar for the dualisation of the road and an improvement in the security situation on the same road.   

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