The Benue State Government has reacted to the influx of armed herders and increase in deadly attacks in the State, lamenting that the Police are overstretched.
The State Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, in an interview on Channels TV, said some Local Governments in the State has as low as five Police Officers; noting that: “The Police are trying their best but the unfortunate situation is that the Police is overstretched….the number of personnel is not enough”.
The Deputy Governor added: “In a whole local you will be surprised that there are just about five officers, some 10. This is where the problem is. They are overstretched. So, you are calling on one police officer to tackle one issue here but some other issues are taking place elsewhere that requires his attention.”
Mr Abounu, however, praised the Federal Government’s effort in recruiting more Officers; stating that: “Two years or so back, about 10,000 Officers were recruited and I understand that there’s another process of recruitment going on now. That is the way to go about it.”
Benue State Government had earlier raised an alarm after observing an influx of ‘heavily-armed’ herdsmen at its border with Nasarawa State.
Mr Abonu said an investigation into the herdsmen’s activities was prompted by an alarm raised by Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule who briefed President Muhamamdu Buhari about the activities of Boko Haram insurgents along his state’s borders with Benue.
The Deputy Governor said although the investigation is still ongoing, the State Government have been able to ascertain the fact that there appears to be a massive deployment of herdsmen with their cattle on the brink of River Benue but on the Nasarawa State bank.
The State Government also observed that the herdsmen were heavily armed, many of them with Ak-47 rifles.