Benue Killings: Osinbajo Never Ignored Ortom’s Warning – Presidency
The Presidency has denied reports that Governor Samuel Ortom had earlier warned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo against the killing of innocent citizens in Benue State by suspected herdsmen.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, said this in a statement signed by him on Monday.
According to the statement, Governor Ortom had written to Professor Osinbajo who was Acting President on June 7, 2017, to protest a report in which the leadership of Miyetti Allah purportedly stated that it was opposed to the anti-open grazing law in Benue and that they would mobilise to resist the law.
Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah had written to the vice president on June 5, 2017, on the same law to protest several sections of the law.
The governor had also called for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah for allegedly using words such as “wicked, obnoxious and repressive,” to describe the grazing law, and describing them as “utterances that are capable of undermining the peace.”
The implementation of the anti-open grazing law has been accompanied by several attacks on some communities in Benue, including the recent ones which led to the death of dozens of people.
Akande, however, said claims that the Presidency ignored Ortom’s warning were misleading, stressing that neither the Federal or state government was aware the killings would take place.
“Although the vice president, Professor Osinbajo, does not believe that the governor could ever have said so, it will be a terrible falsehood to suggest that the VP was ever informed by the governor or anyone else of the imminence of the killing of citizens of our country in those or any other local governments in Benue State.
“To the best of our knowledge, neither Governor Ortom nor the Federal Government was aware of the imminence of the cowardly attack on Logo and Guma on January 1, and, therefore, any suggestion that the President or the vice president ignored the state governor’s warning is both absolutely false and certainly misleading,” the statement said in part.