I will not grant amnesty or negotiate with bandits, Governor Ortom declares
- Governor Ortom has vowed not to negotiate or grant amnesty to bandits
- The Benue state governor made this declaration at the burial ceremony of Chief Terkura Suswam who was recently assassinated
- Going further, he said the criminals must truly repent if they want forgiveness like that of the prodigal son
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In Benue state, there will not be negotiation or amnesty for the bandits and armed men terrorising parts of the state according to Samuel Ortom.
The governor disclosed this on Saturday, March 13, in Anyiin, Logo LGA during the burial ceremony of Chief Terkura Suswam, elder brother of Senator Gabriel Suswam.
Recall that Terkura was assassinated two weeks ago by unknown armed men near his country home in Anyiin, Vanguard reports.
The criminals are responsible for the violent crimes and killings in Logo, Ukum, and Katsina-Ala local government areas, LGAs also known as the Sankera axis of the state.
“For us as a government, we have declared war against the young men who are perpetrating these evil acts. We are going after them, no more amnesty and no more negotiations. Except they come back like the prodigal son which the priest referred to in his homily."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Ortom said it is injustice for the federal government to clampdown on the Eastern Security Network (ESN) while it ignores bandits carrying AK-47.
The governor in an interview with BBC News Pidgin said he does not support the ESN because it is an illegal group.
He, however, said that Nigeria's security challenges would have been solved if the federal government treats armed Fulani herdsmen the same way it treats the ESN.
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In another report, Governor Ortom has issued a stern warning to herdsmen to respect the state's relevant laws or go to Bauchi state if they are bent on carrying weapons such as AK-47 around.
Legit.ng notes that the Benue governor said this in response to a previous statement by the governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed, wherein he justified the use of weapons by herders.
The Benue governor said bandits cannot come to his state and stay in the forest under any guise, saying that they should go to Bauchi state.
However, Governor Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe has called on his southern counterparts to exercise patience with law-abiding herders in their states.
The governor on Tuesday, March 9, argued that not all herdsmen are to be seen as dangerous persons or armed criminals, Punch reports.
Yahaya said the habit of associating cattle rearers with criminality is very rampant in the southern part of the country.
Aanu Adegun is a politics and current affairs content editor at Legit.ng with over 7 years of experience in both digital and traditional media. A graduate of English Studies from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, Aanu started his journalism career as a features writer. Aanu, who is also a creative writer has written books and children magazines. He once anchored some specialised pages of a national newspaper. Aanu is also a satirist.