Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, yesterday, accused Nasarawa State government of harbouring Fulani herdsmen and mercenaries, who had been accused of attacking Tiv communities in Benue.
Suswam made the accusation during a peace meeting between both states held at the Nasarawa State Government House, Lafia.
The governor maintained that it was obvious that the attackers were being accommodated by some communities in Nasarawa State.
He said that the people of Benue were being pushed to the wall by the carnage that trail repeated Fulani invasion of parts of Benue State, pleading that community leaders should help governments of both states to stem the crisis.
Suswam said: “This crisis has got to a point where those of us in Benue State believe that the Fulani perpetrating the violence in Benue communities are being harboured and camped in Nasarawa State, from where they strike Benue and then retreat into hiding.
“The truth is that we cannot pretend over these things, because the Fulani and their collaborators come from Nasarawa State and unleash attacks on Benue communities, yet we pretend that we do not see them or know anything about it.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Governor Al-Makura commended Suswam’s prompt response to the peace meeting.
He said that the two states had shared common affinity for over 20 years and, therefore, should not allow disaffection to hamper their cordial relationship.
He explained that the meeting was convened to discuss the insecurity situation in the both states with a view of finding permanent solutions to the unfortunate situation.
He urged delegates to make genuine input that would bring the desired peace.
“Our people are being pushed to the wall, and that is the more reason we cannot allow these senseless killings and destruction of property to continue.
“This is why Governor of Nasarawa State and I decided to put heads together alongside other stakeholders to stem the crisis.”
Governor Suswam, who dismissed earlier claims by his Nasarawa State counterpart, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura that the attackers were from both states, said: “Can over 600 people pass through a community and you claim you don’t see them?”
He warned against the situation, noting that the people of Benue State may be forced to react if there was no sincere and genuine commitment from both governments and stakeholders to deal with the perpetrators without delay.