- The deputy governor of Benue state, Benson Abouno, has denied the claims that Governor Samuel Ortom was indifferent to killings in the state
- Abouno disclosed that in the wake of continuous attacks, Ortom was on the the president's neck, threatening to declare state of emergency
- He also added that it was as a result of Ortom's threat that president ordered chief of Army staff, Turkur Buratai, to deploy soldiers to the state
In the wake of a recent face-off between the presidency and the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, the deputy governor of the state, Benson Abouno, has dismissed the insinuation that state government was indifferent to the spate of killings in the state.
Speaking at a symposium organised by Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), themed: “Displaced, Traumatised and Neglected,” The Nation reports that Abouno said contrary to the claims that Governor Ortom was not showing will to curb the killing, he was on the president's neck over the insecurity situation in Benue state.
According to the deputy governor, it was the third time Governor Ortom briefed President Buhari on the killing, threatening to declare state of emergency, that the president ordered chief of Army staff, Turkur Buratai, to deploy soldiers from the 72 special battalion forces.
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He said: “I know that Governor Ortom met with president three times over the killings. It was not until the last time when he threatened to declare a state of emergency that president directed the chief of Army staff to deploy soldiers from the 72 special battalion forces.
“In 2016, 98 persons were killed; two-year-olds were sliced and expectant mothers killed, their stomachs turned open. I wonder if those killers were humans.
“Six councils in Agatu were taken over by herdsmen, who burnt houses and destroyed property worth billions of naira. People became homeless; it was a double tragedy.
“From Agatu, the killer herdsmen moved to Guma, Logo, Ukum, Katsina Ala, Otukpo, Apa, Kwande, Gwer, Gwer West, Okpokwu and Makurdi, which is the seat of power.”
Corroborating the claim by the deputy governor, the executive secretary of the SEMA, Emmanuel Shior, chided the federal government for its failure to build shelters for victims of attacks in the state.
Shior also disclosed that about 549,099 victim were currently in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, and of this, 121,617 were children between one and nine months.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state had alleged that a certain cabal within the presidency was trying to cause a rift between him and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ortom made allegation on Monday, January 14, in reaction to statement by a spokesperson of the president, Mallam Garba Shehu, that the Benue governor was spreading false claims that Buhari was trying to Islamise the state.
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