Ortom Denies Responsibility For Bomb Attack That Killed Pastoralists In Nasarawa

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday described the attempt to link him with bomb attacks on Doma, Nasarawa State as unfair.

The Benue governor revealed that since 2011, suspected herdsmen have invaded communities in the State nothing less than 50 times, adding that 18 out of the 23 Local Government Areas of the State are already under siege.

Ortom mentioned this during a world press conference held at the new banquet hall of government house, Makurdi in reaction to the statement by a northern group led by the former emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi.

Sanusi, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had attempted to blame Ortom for a recent deadly air strike in Nasarawa State where several herdsmen were killed.

However, Ortom said he has no hands in the air strike.

He said, “I must state categorically that the Benue State Government under my leadership has no hand in the Akwanaja incident. Linking me with the bomb attack in Doma, Nasarawa State is the most unfair thing anyone would do to me.

“How am I connected or responsible for what did not take place in my state? Akwanaja is in Doma local government area of Nasarawa State, so how do I account for what did not take place in my state? I am Chief Security Officer only in Benue State,” Ortom said

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He further accused the group that signed the statement and purportedly led by former emir of Kano, Sanusi for profiling him as hater of Fulanis.

According to him, since his administration enacted the law prohibiting open grazing in 2017, he had been a  target of the suspected fulani militias, adding that he had escaped seven attempt to his life.

Nonetheless, he promised to continue preventing the invasion and killing of his people by herdsmen with the last drop of his blood.

“Fulani herdsmen attacks on my people in the last couple of years have caused a devastating humanitarian crisis resulting in the killing of over 6,000 Benue people and the displacement of about two million others with many living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.

“The new plot is to eliminate me, I have given myself as a sacrifice for my people who have given me their mandate in 2015 and 2019. I will continue to expose all the evil intents.

“I’m ready to shed the last pint of my blood not to allow the fulanis to take over Tiv land, Idoma land and  Igede land”.

Ortom disclosed that over 3,000 offenders who are indigenes had been arrested for violating the law. 2,000 of them, he said, are facing prosecution and 1,000 already convicted.