(Rose Ejembi – MAKURDI)
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that he is withdrawing from all political activities until the problem of herdsmen invasion of the Benue valley is over.
“I have decided to withdraw from every political activities until this problem is over. I cannot be a leader over dead people. 2019 is in God’s hand. This time, there is need for synergy, cooperation and unity among every Benue people across party lines.”
The governor who stated this during the emergency stakeholders meeting held at the new banquet hall of the Government House, in Makurdi, also urged all Benue sons and daughters to team up with his administration irrespective of their tribe, religion and political affiliation to bring to an end the incessant invasion of Benue communities and mindless killings of Benue people by herdsmen.
While noting that the issue at hand is beyond party politics, he said for the first time in many months, he had to personally call former Governor Gabriel Suswam and former Senate President David Mark to invite them for the emergency stakeholders meeting.
“Yesterday for the first time in months, I called the former governor, Gabriel Suswam and former Senate President, David Mark to inform them about the stakeholders meeting today but was told the former governor traveled out of the country. This issue is beyond party politics.”
The Governor who stated that he was not afraid of death in the course of the struggle stressed the need for Benue people to be united at this trying moment noted that the herdsmen were not coming just for grazing but to take over the land.
“These people are not coming for grazing but for occupation. It is not about grazing of cattle but about taking over the land.”
The governor revealed that already, additional troupes had been deployed to Benue even as the Deputy Inspector General of Police ((DIG) Habila Joshak has also arrived the state with a chopper for surveillance adding that a special anti terrorist force of the police whose operation would be beyond the shores of Benue State would be arriving the state on Saturday (tomorrow).
Various stakeholders who spoke at the meeting including former Senate President Ameh Ebute, Prof. David Iornem, Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd.), Chief Edward Ujege among others stressed the need for everyone to support the state government in the onerous task of bringing the incessant attacks by herdsmen to an end,