Ortom: I ran 1.5kms to escape gunmen’s attack

No harm must come Benue Gov's way, Wike warns  

Embattled Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom recounted his horrific experience after surviving a deadly attack yesterday on his convoy by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen.

The governor said he ran 1.5 kilometers to escape unhurt.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has warned that the President Buhari- led  administration will be held responsible if Ortom is assassinated.

He stressed that if the Benue State governor is killed, the country could be plunged into another civil war.

Briefing journalists at Makurdi after the incident, Ortom said he was inspecting his farm on Saturday when armed herders, dressed in black, opened fire on him and his security aides.

He said it took the swift response of his security aides to repel the attack, while he ran a long distance to escape unhurt.

“If not for my security men and God I would have been dead by now, I ran over 1.5 kilometers to escape while my security men repelled the herdsmen,” he said.

He claimed that the attack came few days after the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore held a meeting in Yola and singled him out as an obstacle and must be killed.

He added that he received intelligence report on the plot to assassinate him, but insisted that  his life was in the hands of God and no ethnic militia had the power to take it without the Almighty’s consent.

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He said as many times as they venture to kill him, they would continue to fail.

The governor vowed that the ranching law of the state will not be upturned for any reason, stressing that no intimidation could force his administration to reverse the order of Benue people against open grazing.


Ortom added that he would petition President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs against Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, adding that allowing the group’s leaders to move freely with security personnel attached to them was not in the best interest of the nation.

Earlier, Ortom’s media aide, Mr Terver Akase, who was in Makurdi during the attack, had told journalists that the governor’s convoy was ambushed at Tyo mu community, a distance of less than 20 kilometers from Makurdi , the  Benue State capital while returning from his farm along Gboko road.

Wike gave the warning   while reacting to attempt on Ortom’s life by suspected gunmen who trailed him to a river bank in Tyo Mu along Makurdi/Gboko road in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State.

“If you kill Ortom, then be prepared to bury Nigeria. If anything happens to Governor Ortom, the Federal Government will be held responsible and they should be prepared that there will be no more Nigeria.”

Wike recalled how the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, Major General Jamil Sarham, and All Progressives Congress(APC) chieftains had concluded plan to assassinate him during the 2019 polls.

He further described as worrisome the growing trend where the live of incumbent governors are brazenly threatened.

It would be recalled that Ortom had come under intense   criticisms from most  Northern leadership  over his presumed hatred for Fulani herders.

For instance, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed recently blamed Ortom’s ‘lack of foresight’ for the negative perception of Fulani herders in the country.

Mohammed spoke on the theme “The role of the Media in Promoting Peace and Unity in Nigeria”, which marked the closing ceremony of 2021 Correspondents’ Chapel Week organized by Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bauchi State council.

He  lamented that the herder/farmers cattle was poorly handled by Benue state governor, and cautioned him  and some governors of southern states to guard against their controversial utterances and policies in order not to threaten the peace and unity of the country.

He said: “Unconstructive criticisms bring a lot of hatred and sometimes we are quick to go to the press on issues that are dividing us. I will tell you something that I tell my colleagues about the farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria: He (Governor Ortom) started all these.”

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