President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday ordered the relevant security agencies in the country to fish out the killer herdsmen in Benue State.

At least 73 persons have been killed by Fulani herdsmen since January 1 in Benue.

Speaking with State House journalists after leaders from Benue State met with the President behind closed doors in Abuja, the state governor, Samuel Ortom, also said that the leaders from the state had demanded that the killer herdsmen be arrested and prosecuted.

Stressing that he now understands what cattle colony means, Ortom said Benue State does not have the required land space to operate cattle colony.

He said: “As you can see I’m here with the entire leadership of Benue State, members of the National Assembly, the Tor Tiv, Ochi Idoma and the leadership of Benue State House of Assembly and other very distinguished sons and daughters of Benue State.

“You are aware of the challenge we had since the 1st of January up to this moment. Several people were killed, more than 60,000 people displaced and we are still counting.

“We thought it was wise as the father of the land and as the President of our country there is need to meet with him to interface with him.

“At a personal level, I spoke to the President on phone on the 1st of January when his incident occurred and he responded promptly. And I followed it up with a visit, he directed the location of IGP to Benue State in addition to sending additional troops from the military.

“So the situation as at today is relatively calm although there are pockets of issues. For the past five days we have witnessed two killings compared to what was happening before. Other places are relatively calm, the security men and the IGP and the Benue State government had been working day and night to ensure that we bring the situation under control and stop the killings.

“There are still security issues from one town to the other like some few days ago we had an uproar in Makurdi local government, headquarters of Benue State where some hoodlums wanted to take advantage. That is one of the things we have discovered in trying to create confusion so that they can go in there and loot.

‘We have made it known that for us in Benue State is that there is no room for anyone taking laws into his hands. It is expected even when you are offended or someone violates the law, the best thing to do is to report, by that we will be able to impose our sanctions on such people. But when you take laws into your hand you are inviting anarchy and we will not accept this.

“So we are here to appreciate Mr. President for providing security, yesterday (Sunday) we also received relief materials based on his directives to NEMA and is being shared among the five IDP camps that we have in Benue State.

“But beyond that we made strong appeal to Mr. President to arrest those people that perpetrated this act, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, because they are not above the law. They made inciting statements against our people and they came and perpetrated this act.

“And until this time I speak to you, they are still issuing out threats and it is not about just anti-grazing law, it is occupation because the manner with which they come and attack the man and take over the land it is something. I am not sure willing to join issues with anyone. We are law abiding citizens, we are not going to let our people go out of control.”

The Nation