By ‘Dotun Akintomide
Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has blamed the dastardly killing of the people of the state by Fulani herdsmen on the deliberate refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the office of the National Security Adviser as well as the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) to decisively act on intelligence he supplied months before the attacks.
Ortom said on Saturday that the above were officially informed by his office, upon security report, of the impending killings by the herdsmen but they did nothing to stop it.
The residents of the state started 2018 on a mourning note as about 73 victims were brutally killed in separate attacks by Fulani herdsmen in Logo and Guma communities in Benue State.
Speaking while meeting with the Senate ad hoc Committee on Security Infrastructure, led by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, in Makurdi, the governor also blamed security agencies for the continued killing of inhabitants of the state by Fulani herdsmen since 2008.
The committee was on fact-finding mission to Benue State in view of the dastardly killings, which took place there.
He said: “I intimated Mr. President and it was put to writing. On the same October 7, 2017, I wrote to the Inspector General of Police, I told him of a planned attack on our people there was no response. October 27, 2017, I reminded him that these people are planning to attack us, we are law abiding, we have disarmed our youths, and we are looking unto security agencies. And the way to do it is to arrest those people who were inciting the herdsmen to combat us, and we knew they were going to come.
“These people were all over the place; on television, in papers, doing various press conferences, and they eventually took us to court. But we felt that it is a crime for anyone to incite people against us with the purpose of killing or causing harm, destruction. So we expected them (security agencies) to act, but there was no action.
“Of course, I wrote to the Senate President for information, and the Speaker. I also wrote on 7th of October, when I was writing to the Acting President and Inspector General of Police, I also wrote to the National Security Adviser on this planned attack against Benue people.
“I also wrote to the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS). And when there was no action, I followed it up with a reminder on 27th of October, 2017.
So, that was it, and I also on the 17th of October, I wrote to the President, I copied the National Security Adviser. There was no response. Of course, the National Security Adviser invited us for a meeting two times but it was put off.
“This is very sad. Those people who are responsible for these killings, I know. I accuse them and I have evidence against them. They are on newspaper publications, they are on video, they are on audio, and they are known.
“If I had wanted to buy guns, I wouldn’t wait. But if I bought guns and gave to those people, would my people have been killed in the manner they were killed?” I disarmed the people. I’ve not bought a single gun, I’m a Christian. If I bought, I would say yes.
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