Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has challenged the Federal Government to also arrest members of armed Fulani groups for carrying out attacks on farming communities in parts of the country.
Ortom said such a move is imperative even as the country’s food sufficiency policy is currently being threatened by the willful killings across the nation.
Governor Ortom who made the call in Makurdi, during the flag-off of the 2021 subsidized fertilizer sale at 50% per NPK 50kg bag from the initial twelve thousand Naira to Six thousand Naira, said he has no problem with the arrest of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, but the fight against terrorism and other crimes would only be seen to be unbiased if armed herders who have been killing innocent citizens are also apprehended.
While quoting President Muhammadu Buhari as admitted recently that herdsmen occupying the forests and terrorizing the people are not Nigerians, Ortom wondered why no effort has been made to bring these herders to justice when the very citizens the president pledged to defend are now victims and IDPs in their own country.
Ortom’s comments come a day after Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State stated that it is not enough for the Federal Government to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, while leaders of other notorious groups are roaming wild and free.
Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), was rearrested, brought back to Nigeria, and re-arraigned on Tuesday, June 29.
Speaking on the development, Governor Wike said for justice to be said to have prevailed, the Federal Government must ensure that the leaders of other groups that have been linked to killings and unrest must be arrested and made to face the law.
Wike who on Thursday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said in the case of Kanu, due process must be followed so that justice may come full circle.
“I have said as governor of Rivers State, I do not believe in Kanu’s principles or the way he wants to actualize Biafra. I have said that Rivers State is not part of Biafra.
“However, having arrested him, the due process of the law must follow. You cannot just say that because you have arrested him therefore you will not allow justice to prevail. You must follow the due process of law.
“And again, do not do it as if all our target is against a certain section of the country because it is not only Nnamdi Kanu we are talking about as regards insecurity in the country. We have bandits, we have Miyetti Allah who have caused a lot of problems, so government must endeavour to go after the heads of these organizations and associations and arrest them and bring them to book,” Wike stated.
The governor was of the opinion that if the government toes his advice, then Nigerians will be able to say that of a truth, justice has been done.
He added that a failure to see that the other arrests are made will only suggest that the move is targetted at just one section of the country, a situation which Wike says will breed issues over injustice and debates regarding marginalization.