From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), which represents all 36 state governors of the federation, has described as shocking and a rude awakening the attempt to cut short the life of the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
On Saturday, gunmen suspected to be militant herdsmen attacked the Benue governor’s convoy while on a visit to his farm.
Governor Ortom said the armed men, numbering about 15, trailed his convoy to the river bank where he was on foot with his security details and opened fire on them.
In a statement signed by NFG Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, the governors, sympathising with their colleague and the people of Benue State, condemned the attack, calling it ‘unacceptable’ and that such attempts ‘will fail woefully’.
They said all hands must be on deck to uncover the identities of those involved in this heinous crime.
The statement read:
‘The NGF wishes to state categorically that the attempt to make Benue State ungovernable is unacceptable and will fail woefully.
‘Only recently the brother of one of the former governors of the state was mowed down in cold blood. This dishonourable and shameful act of resorting to violence, for whatever reason, to eliminate citizens of Benue State by brutal means must not continue.
‘The NGF as a platform for all the 36 Governors will continue to encourage its members to stand firm in the service of their people regardless of the evil machinations of those who do not wish Nigeria well.
‘Evil will not be allowed to triumph over good, not in Benue and not anywhere in this country.
‘While all governors will continue to pray for Governor Ortom, the NGF wishes to draw the attention of all evildoers that not only will they continue to fail in their wicked acts, but they will also definitely be traced and punished for their crimes, no matter how long it takes.
‘Once again, the NGF prays for Governor Ortom and wishes him long life as his safety and that of all the people of Benue State continue to be paramount to the NGF.’