By Akinwale Kasali
For weeks now, the media has been awashed with criticism and counter criticism over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Benue State, since the attack on the people of the state by alleged Fulani herdsmen.
Rather, the President visited Kano State and other States for political and person functions at the expense of the ‘war torn’ Benue state, which has led to the state burying over 70 people as the result of the mayhem caused by the alleged Fulani herdsmen.
Last week, the presidency announced that the president was likely to visit the state in the coming days. many thought this was another plot by the presidency to subdue the heat coming from all quarters as a result of the neglect. But this is however turning out to be a reality.
Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Benue today, security has been beefed up, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Armed security personnels were seen deployed to strategic areas in Makurdi while others were seen patrolling streets in armoured tanks and vehicles as part of measures to boost up security in the state.
NAN also reports that patrol officers with sniffer dogs were also sighted along busy streets and highways in the state capital while a military helicopter was sighted conducting aerial surveillance.
Similarly, siren-blaring police patrol vans conveying armed security personnel decked in bullet prove vestments were seen patrolling the streets.
Buhari is expected in Benue to condole with the people of the state over the deaths of local farmers killed by suspected herdsmen on January 1 in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas.
Scores of other villagers were also reported to have been killed at Okpokwu, Logo, and villages in Guma since the January 1 massacre.
Part of the president’s itinerary as released by the Benue Government included a courtesy call on the fifth Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, at his Makurdi residence.
According to the release, the president will have an interactive session with selected Benue indigenes and visit the IDP camp via helicopter.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Fatayi Owoseni, and the command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Yamu, were yet to respond to phone calls put to them by NAN as they were said to be working to firm up the security arrangements.
However, a cross-section of Makurdi residents commended security agencies for the tight security measures put in place.
The resident hoped that the visit would tackle the mounting security and development challenges of the state.