Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has asked those saying that he is talking too much about the killing of his people by herdsmen to give him justice. He vowed that only justice can make him keep quiet on the matter.
This is even as the governor has confirmed that two persons, including a policeman, were killed while several others missing after herdsmen attacked his Guma Local Government Area of the state between Wednesday and early hours of Thursday.
In the words of Governor Ortom, “People who are saying that I am talking too much should give me justice and I will keep quiet. These people are not just grazing but are coming to take over our land. And they want me to keep quiet. How can I keep quiet? As long as there is no justice, I will continue to shout, talk and sing.”
The governor, who played host to former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, at the Government House, in Makurdi, on Thursday, disclosed that even up till now, Benue State is still under siege as the killings had continued unabated despite the deployment of security to flash-points in the state.
The governor continued, “As I talk to you, Benue is still under siege. Even security agents that were sent are being killed by these people. Only yesterday, somebody from my local government was slaughtered and burnt. That is the new dimension to the killings.”
Governor Ortom, who lamented that the attack was happening at the time the farmers were harvesting their crops, however, maintained that the onslaught was not just about land for grazing but a coordinated attack to impoverish the people and ensure that the state did not live up to its name as the food basket of the nation.
“Benue remains the food basket of the nation. This is happening at a time the farmers are harvesting their crops. We look forward that the resolution of the senate would be implemented. These people are not just grazing but are coming to take over our land.”
Earlier, Sen. Kwankwaso, who led members of his Kwankwasiya Foundation to pay a condolence visit to the state government and people of Benue State, condemned the January 1 attack in which over 70 people were killed.
According to Kwankwaso, “We are here to condole with the government and entire people of the state over the loss of 73 people. I join the good people of the country to condemn those who perpetuated the killings and similar acts in Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa and other states of the country. I believe it’s time leaders join hands to condemn the act and ensure such acts doesn’t happen again in the country.”
Kwankwaso, who also announced a donation of 1,200 bags of rice to the over 80,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are now placed in six camps in the state, also urged the Federal Government and security agencies to ensure that the unwarranted killings across the country is stopped.