N425 billion lost to killer herdsmen on rampage in Benue: Official

The Benue government on Wednesday claimed property worth more than N425 billion was destroyed as a result of alleged herders’ attack on farmers.

Aondowase Kunde, the commissioner for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, disclosed this when he received Senior Course 46 Students of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, in Makurdi.

According to Mr Kunde, the herders-farmers violence has so far destroyed property and farmlands worth over N425 billion in eight local governments.

He said more than two million people were displaced from the local government areas within this period. The commissioner said while many were still in IDP camps, others were staying with host communities and relatives across the state.

Mr Kunde added that Benue had witnessed several violent attacks resulting in thousands of deaths thousands of injured ones while hundreds are still missing.

“Thousands of our people were killed during these attacks; thousands of others sustained several degrees of injuries while hundreds are still missing. Property worth N400 billion and crops worth N25 billion were lost to the crises.

“The causes of the crisis are linked to herders-farmers attacks, communal and land disputes, armed banditry, kidnapping, cultism, amongst others,” the Benue commissioner claimed.

He said the crises had caused food shortages. 

“It has also increased the number of out-of-school children and an increase in trafficking of persons just to highlight a few,” he said.

Mr Kunde said the state was carrying out biometric enumeration and enrolment of IDPs in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for effective interventions.

“The enumeration is being carried out in six local government areas of Makurdi, Guma, Agatu, Kwande, Logo and Gwer West. The exercise is aimed at arming the government with data for planning for the welfare and resettlement of the IDPs.

“As of November 23,77,109 individuals and 19,973 households have been successfully enumerated,” said the commissioner.