Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to be careful of wrong people who surround him.
The governor said this while reacting to a recent statement credited to the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, in an interview, that the recent massacre of innocent people by suspected Fulani herdsmen in parts of the country, especially Benue, was a result of the promulgation of anti-open grazing laws and blockade of grazing routes. Ortom, who described the statement as unfortunate, especially coming from a person who should know that the herdsmen have also been killing in many states of the federation where there was no anti open grazing law.
“There was no open grazing prohibition law in Benue between 2013 and April 2017, but Fulani herdsmen attacked the state more than 50 times. There is no such law in Enugu, Adamawa, Kaduna, Rivers, Plateau, Ondo, Edo etc, but herdsmen have been attacking people in those states. Give us another reason to “justify” the New Year attacks on innocent Benue people.”
Speaking while receiving in audience, the leadership of International Community of Charismatic and Evangelical Bishops and Apostles (ICCEBA) at the Government House in Makurdi, yesterday, the governor wondered why the Federal Government was playing to the gallery with an issue, which, he noted, was capable of consuming the whole country.
“It’s amazing that the Federal Government is playing to the gallery instead of confronting the issue that is capable of consuming the whole country. Let Federal Government come and show me where I own 6,000 militia. I was the first governor to disarm militia and criminals. How about the herdsmen who are openly displaying weapons? Why have they not arrested them?… Iwill not surrender my land to foreigners. You can go and do that in your own state. It’s sad that those who are supposed to the assisting the President have instead, turned round to misinform him all for their selfish interest.”
Earlier, African Prelate of ICCEBA, Archbishop Leonard Kawas, while condoling with the state government over the gruesome murder of 73 persons on January 1, by herdsmen condemned the killing and urged President Buhari to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested and made to face the full weight of the law.
While positing that the sustained herdsmen attacks in many states of the country was a plot to annihilate the Christian community, Kawas who averred that the ranching remained the only solution to the incessant herdsmen/farmers crises, called for the probe of security agents who remained negligent even when they were informed about the security issues.