Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has challenged the people to defend their ancestral land instead of seeking refuge elsewhere.
The governor said this on Tuesday while addressing some youths in the state, in reaction to the continued attacks on communities by suspected herdsmen.
He spoke when he visited Adaka and Nagi communities in Gwer West Local Government Area, where the people besieged his convoy in protest over the attacks.
“It is not enough to just run away, you must stay to defend your land. These killings are enough, and we are not going to take it again,” Ortom decried.
“I know as a scholar of the Bible, David as a young man killed and slaughtered Goliath with just stone. There are stones all over the place. Do the same thing and support the security men,” he added.
The youths said they were protesting the alleged killing of over 20 persons in their areas over the weekend, as well as the displacement of about 20,000 people from their homestead.
They pointed accusing fingers on the herdsmen whom they claimed were occupying their land for grazing purposes.
Despite the call on residents to defend their ancestral land, the governor remains opposed to the breakdown of law and order in the state.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, Governor Ortom had condemned the killing of some herdsmen on Saturday last week near Yelwata village along Lafia-Makurdi Highway in Benue.
He had warned residents to desist from lawless activities, noting that the people of the state are peace-loving and not at war with anyone.
Ortom, however, commended the police in the state for swiftly arresting some of the suspects for prosecution and called on residents to provide useful information to assist the security agencies to arrest other fleeing suspects.
On Monday, police authorities arraigned 28 people allegedly involved in the killing of the herders.