- Governor Samuel Ortom wants residents in Benue state to defend themselves against aggressors
- The north-central state has suffered an uncountable number of attacks by armed herders
- An obviously weary Governor Ortom says the people have to figure out a way to defend themselves from being killed
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue on Monday, May 17 urged residents of the state to defend themselves against armed invaders in their domain.
Ortom, who made the remark while reacting to questions from journalists on his arrival to Makurdi from Oyo state where he attended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum meeting, said people need to rise up against the unnecessary invasion of their homes.
Daily Trust quoted him as saying:
“I have told my people to defend themselves. You can’t sit down in your house for people to come from somewhere and kill you.
“If you don’t have weapons required by the law, go to your neighbour and get one. Everybody in Benue both men and women should defend themselves.”
Commenting on the PDP governors' meeting, he disclosed that the forum has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to give attention to security.
“We have affirmed our position on the southern governors’ decision banning open grazing of animals. We hope that we shall join hands together with the president to address the matter.
“There is no way we can do it without the president because more power is at the centre. We have work to do with the president.”
Meanwhile, the Benue government, on Thursday, May 6 approved the establishment of vigilante groups to combat the high rate of insecurity in the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this when he briefed journalists attached to his office on the outcome of the expanded stakeholders’ meeting held at the new banquet hall of the Government House, Makurdi.
Ortom said renewed attacks on the people by armed herdsmen had overstretched security agencies, stressing that his government had decided to enforce the law to establish vigilante groups.
In a related development, Governor Ortom has described his counterpart in Kaduna as one of the enemies of Nigeria.
Governor Ortom made the claim in a statement sent to Legit.ng by his spokesman, Terver Akase on Saturday, May 8.
The Benue governor was reacting to a statement credited to El-Rufai who accused Ortom of using the insecurity in his state to attack the federal government.
Governor Ortom accused El-Rufai of promoting insecurity in the country through his utterances, describing him as a sycophant, ethnic champion, and religious bigot.