A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Lawrence Onoja, stated that the JNI was attempting to use the herdsmen attacks on the state to misrepresent facts by portraying Governor Samuel Ortom as creating an atmosphere of religious intolerance in Benue..
Onoja said, “Nothing can be farther from the truth. We stand by our earlier statements concerning the herdsmen crisis in the state.
“There are documented evidences that confirm that the MAKH and MACBAN, along with their sympathisers have been making inciting statements.
“This suggests that the attacks on Benue State are motivated by ulterior motives beyond a struggle for open grazing.
“It is on the record that the National Vice-President of MACBAN, Husaini Bosso, warned that there would be more bloodshed in Benue if the anti-open grazing law is not scrapped.
“This was barely 48 hours after the mass burial of the 73 victims killed by herdsmen in January 2018.
“Despite being a predominantly Christian state, there are also Muslims in the state going about their lawful business.
“We strongly discourage and would resist any attempt from any quarters to polarise our state along ethnic and religious lines,” Onoja added.