Ortom talks tough, says 70 persons murdered by herders in Benue in two weeks

By Alfred Olufemi

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has decried the incessant killings in the state, saying over 70 persons have been murdered in two weeks in Makurdi local government area of the state.

Mr Ortom said this while addressing protesting youth at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abagena village on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

The youth were protesting the attack by suspected herders on Monday night in which seven persons were killed and many injured.

Governor Ortom said the unfortunate development could have been averted if the federal government was proactive.

“It is an unfortunate development that what is happening, if the federal government had taken a proactive step, we will not be where we are. In the last two week, over 70 persons just in Makurdi local government area alone. It is not acceptable.

“Go to Guma, the same killings are taking place, go to Gwer-west, the same killings are taking place. This is not fair. The federal government has refused to take a proactive step to arrest this ugly situation we are witnessing here today.

“You recall that I alerted the entire nation when Fulanis from 14 countries met in Yola and declared that except we review the prohibition of open grazing law, Benue will not know peace.”

He said he had written to the federal government to arrest the leaders of Miyetti Allah that hosted that meeting but nothing was done.


“It means we don’t have a government,” he lamented.

“You can imagine, this is Abagena IDP camp. The adjoining villages are occupied by IDPs. What else do you want them to do? You send these people away from their villages, they came here to take refuge and today they are being killed in this manner.

“They no longer come here with their cattle because they want to suck blood.”

”How do you wake up every day and see people being killed. FG must do the needful and I want to suggest that immediately let there be a security summit. I am aware that the situation is prevalent in other parts of the country.”

He restated that the assailants are not bandits but “Fulani herdsmen.”

“They are not bandits. They are Fulanis. We saw them and heard them speak the language.”

He also urged the President to allow citizens to bear fire arms.

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