From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that everyone involved in the crisis that rocked Ogobia and Ondo communities in Ugboju, Otukpo Local Government area of the state would be brought to book.
Four persons including a retired Army Major, Ebute Ugbo were between Wednesday and Thursday this week killed with some other persons injured in the crisis which was sparked by two brothers of same mother, Ijachi and Benjamin Udeh.
Ugboh, a former state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was said to have been killed, thrown into his car and burnt to ashes by supporters of one of the brothers in the early hours of Thursday. His house as well as three other vehicles in his compound were also set ablaze.
Ortom who visited the two communities on Friday along with his Deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu and other members of his cabinet just while the remains of Ugbo were being interred condemned the mayhem and vowed that the two brothers who had been fingered as masterminds of the crisis would not be spared.
He recalled that Ugboh, under whom he served as State Secretary of the PDP at a point in his political journey was a very peaceful man who couldn’t hurt a fly.
“When democracy came, Ugboh was the state chairman of PDP and I was the secretary. I saw many missed calls from Major Ugboh recently but could not return those calls. Maybe he was meaning to share some thoughts with me. He was a great man and for him to have died in this manner is unfortunate.
“If he went into the military and came back alive, he shouldn’t have died in this manner. I knew he was very sick at a point but he came out from it only to be treated in the manner these people did. We are leaving everything to God as Christians but as government, we have the responsibility to protect lives and property so we will not allow this go free.
“If they had been going free in the past, I am assuring you that under my watch, they are going to be apprehended to serve as a deterrent to others. However, I am praying that this is the last time such is happening in this community and whatever foundation that was laid for this crisis, let this be the end. I pray that Ugbo’s death should bring peace to this community, the Governor said.
While noting that the culprits will not go unpunished, he urged those who have been affected by the crisis to remain in peace and should not engage in any form of reprisal.
On his part, Chairman of Otukpo Local Government area, George Alli while speaking with our correspondent said the crisis had nothing to do with politics as being insinuated but a crisis over land and incited by two brothers.
He disclosed that curfew had been declared in the area while security has also been briefed up in the two communities