Ortom Laments Over Killing Of Two Aide Workers, Six Others By Suspected Herdsmen

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has lamented over the Sunday night killing of Benue farmers and two aid workers at Tomanyii village in the Guma Local Government Area. 

Speaking to newsmen on Monday, Governor Ortom noted that until the Federal Government “which wine and dines with the leadership of the armed herdsmen decide to end the atrocities, the killing will continue”.

Ortom dismissed as lame, the notion that the armed herdsmen are spirits that have eluded security operatives unlike the IPOB and the secessionist agitation led by Sunday Igboho in the southwest which the security agencies have done a lot to quash.

While questioning why little has been done to stop armed herdsmen from killing, the Benue Governor vowed he would not repeal the law banning open grazing to please the marauders.

READ ALSO: Pilot Survives As Nigeria Fighter Jet Battling Bandits Crashes

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

A late-night raid

Suspected herdsmen on Sunday killed two aid workers and a volunteer for 360HSCD, a non governmental organizations working on HIV/AID testing and counseling in Benue state.

The aid workers had been on routine weekend supervision at Tomanyi village in Guma LGA when the attack took place.

This is according to local sources who called the telephone lines of the aide workers upon learning of their abduction by the suspected herdsmen.

The herdsmen who answered the call, according to the sources, confirmed the killings and insisted that such will continue until Governor Samuel Ortom responds to their demand to repeal the prohibition of open grazing in Benue state.

The state had passed a law banning open grazing in favour of ranching in 2017.

As of Monday morning, Channels Television can confirm that eight corpses have been recovered from Tomanyi village by security forces, accompanied by youths from the area.

Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest: Ortom Challenges FG To Check Activities Of Armed Herders

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

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.

READ ALSO: ‘How Will Nigerians Feel?’ Wike Rules Out Defecting To APC

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.

TB Joshua Was A Blessing To Humanity, Says Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu says he has received the news of the death of Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua with a heavy heart.

Governor Akeredolu in a statement on Sunday said the renowned man of God was a blessing to humanity and a great Ambassador of the Sunshine State whose Ministry was noted for charity.

He further described the late prophet as one who demonstrated timelessly, an alluring service to humanity.

“Undoubtedly, Pastor Joshua’s demise came as a rude shock. The pains are not mere emotional flashes; they are indeed piercing. The Ondo-born Pastor and Televangelist was a philanthropist whose exit will be sorely missed by many.

“Pastor Joshua was committed to giving and was more often, inexorably imbued with calmness while lifting the downtrodden. As a televangelist, he did not just win souls for Christ, he was passionate about changing lives.

READ ALSO: Prophet TB Joshua Dies At 57

“He demonstrated timelessly, an alluring service to humanity and compassion by assisting not only his home local government, Akoko North West. Other adjoining local governments in Akoko land benefitted from his large heart of benevolence.

“Of significant note too, Pastor Joshua never hesitated to assist in whatever manner the Ondo State Government desired such. To us in Ondo State, we consider this a personal loss. He was a pride to the Sunshine State

“Not only Africa is hit hard; this is a great global knock as his Pastor TB Joshua’s ministry attracted immeasurable foreign followership. Christendom has lost a giant.

“The reality of the finality of death truly hurts the heart. But for TB Joshua, he had played his own part of the endless life orchestra; he has departed. We must take solace in his good deeds while here. He is now Heaven’s gain. The people have lost a committed giver. We shall continue to remember his contributions to the development of our State,” the statement partly reads.

While commiserating with the immediate family, the entire membership of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Governor Akeredolu expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, and the entire community over the loss of a great son of the soil.

The Governor prayed God to grant the late ‘man of God’ an eternal rest in His bosom and comfort grieving family members, friends, and associates.

In a similar vein, Governor Samuel Ortom has expressed deep sympathy with the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) and the entire Christian community in Nigeria over the death of Prophet T.B Joshua.

The Governor in a brief communique on Sunday described the sudden demise of the renowned preacher as shocking and unfortunate.

He said the evangelist will be remembered not only for spreading the gospel of Christ but also for his humanitarian works through which he positively touched millions of lives.

Governor Ortom prayed that God grants the soul of Prophet T.B Joshua eternal rest and his family and members of his church the strength to bear the loss.

Twitter Ban Diversionary And Ill-Advised, Says Gov Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom describes the Federal Government’s ban on Twitter operations in the country as an ill-advised diversion from the core issues of insecurity and injustice plaguing the nation.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said the Twitter ban offers no solution to any of the myriad of problems facing the country and stresses that the move is only capable of heightening tensions and fueling suspicions among Nigerians over the real motives of the Federal Government.

He noted that the act of suspending Twitter amounts to suppressing freedom of expression, gagging social media, and undermining fundamental human rights of Nigerians, a development he says contravenes Chapter four of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

READ ALSO: SERAP Asks Commonwealth To Sanction Nigeria Over #TwitterBan, Repression

Governor Ortom emphasized the need for the Federal Government to listen to the views and yearnings of the people to enable it to address the challenges confronting the nation.

He called for the reversal of the ban to reassure the international community that Nigeria has not become a hostile country to investors.

The governor appealed to those saddled with the responsibility of advising the Presidency to always put national interest above personal, regional, ethnic, religious, and political affiliations.

Removing History From School Curriculum Is An Evil Agenda, Says Ortom

Removing history from our curriculum is an evil agenda – Ortom

 

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has described as evil, the removal of history as a subject from secondary and primary school curriculum by the Federal Government.

Speaking on Friday in Makurdi, the state capital, the governor said Benue State will legislate a solution for the teaching of History even if it’s for internal consumption of knowledge about how the people of Benue came to occupy what is today called Benue.

“Removing history from our curriculum is an evil agenda. So, in our schools here even if we do it and it is not accepted for examinations to be conducted at the level of SSCE, let’s do Mock Exams, this will be within us. Because we must know our history, we must know how we came here.

“We must know when we sojourned here and know people that came to join us. We must know what happened in 1800. All these are very important. If we don’t do it, we have failed as a generation and posterity will not forgive us,” Ortom said.

He also instructed that vernacular should be taught in Benue schools beginning from next academic session – September 2021 along with History as core subjects.

The removal of history studies from primary and secondary schools curriculum became effective from the 2009/2010 academic session with the Federal Government launching a new curriculum known as the New Basic Education Curriculum for primary and junior secondary schools.

The decision was however met with criticism with many describing the reasons as mere excuses.

Following the criticisms, in 2016, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, announced that the Federal Government is taking steps to restore history as a subject in primary and secondary schools’ curriculum.

Eid-el-Fitr: Ortom Calls For Prayers To End Insecurity

File photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

 

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has called for sustained prayers to end insecurity in parts of the country, even as Muslims celebrate this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr.

The Governor believes that with prayers and commitment on the part of government and the people, the wave of killings, kidnappings, herdsmen attacks, and banditry will be surmounted.

He says the peace, security, and unity of the country must be placed above personal and sectional interests, as keeping Nigeria safe and united is a task for all its citizens.

The Governor urges Muslims in the state to promote the values and lessons of Ramadan such as piety, generosity, peaceful coexistence, and justice.

He acknowledged and appreciated the prayers made by the Muslim community anytime the state is confronted by challenges.

Governor Ortom assured the Benue people that the security of lives and property will remain the priority of his administration.

He wishes all Muslims peaceful Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.

Benue Crisis: Expose Those Who Killed Soldiers, Return Army Weapons – Ortom Urges Communities

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

The Benue State Government has urged community leaders to expose those who carried out an unprovoked attack on Nigerian Army troops, leading to the death of an officer and 10 other soldiers.

In a statement on Friday, Governor Ortom while addressing the recent crisis between communities in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas, called for restraint on all sides including the military.

Ortom noted in his communique that he has already directed leaders of the affected areas to ensure that the weapons the “bandits” took away from the military personnel deployed to bring peace between the warring communities are returned without delay.

Earlier on, the army had reported that its troops came under attack while on a routine operational task, it was not clear who the attackers were at the time.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Another Petrol Dealer In Ekiti

The military however asserted that the troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke.

The search and rescue team, unfortunately, found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately.

According to the army, efforts were still ongoing to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.

In his reaction, Governor Ortom urged members of the affected communities to expose perpetrators of the unprovoked attacks on the military, stating that such an act is condemnable and also capable of jeopardizing the efforts Government has made to guarantee the return of peace to the area.

The governor disclosed that in an effort to find a solution to the crisis, he set up a Boundary Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu to resolve the land dispute in collaboration with the National Boundary Commission.

The Committee had fixed a date for the demarcation of the area in contention when renewed violence broke out between the Bonta Community of Konshisha Local Government Area and Okpute Community of Oju Local Government Area.

Ortom assured the people that his administration is determined to see the end of the crisis and will support security agencies to fish out those fomenting trouble.

He, however, urged the military to avoid civilian casualties and protect law abiding people while efforts are on to recover their missing weapons.

Ortom Visits Buhari, Says 2023 Elections May Not Hold If Insecurity Persists

 

 

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that if the insecurity challenges in the country persist, the 2023 elections will not hold.

Governor Ortom stated this on Tuesday when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The governor who arrived at the Villa unaccompanied met with the President over issues of insecurity in the country.

He thanked the President for condemning the attack on his farm but said: “that there will be no 2023 elections in Nigeria if insecurity persists”.

Briefing journalists after meeting with the President, Governor Ortom disclosed that the nation is sitting on a keg of gun powder without meaningful progress being made on the issue of security.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Governor Ortom In Benue

Speaking on the protection of the constitution, Ortom appealed for the provisions of the constitution to be protected to enable equity, fairness, and justice in the country.

He criticized the issue of impunity in the country which he said has been allowed to fester, thereby urging the Federal Government to immediately prosecute anyone found culpable of breaching the law.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

 

On the question of reports alleging that attacks on his convoy was a pseudo claim, the Governor explicitly appealed to everyone not to politicize the issue of attempted assassination on his person.

He made the emphasis that the attack on his convoy by about 15 gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, while on a visit to his farm was not stage-managed.

While asserting that he has not done anything wrong in enacting an anti-open grazing law beneficial to the state, he said the demand by the cattle breeders association, Miyetti Allah to repel the law would be impossible to fulfill, because it went through due process, hence the matter is clearly beyond him.

He prayed that what happened to him would not be experienced by anyone else.

The governor commended other governors, colleagues for standing by him during the attack.

Gunmen Attack

Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen last Saturday attacked Governor Ortom at Tyo Mu along Makurdi/Gboko road in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state.

Ortom, who described the gunmen as ‘herdsmen’, said about 15 of the attackers trailed him to the river bank where he was on foot.

The governor praised his security details that were just about six in number for responding quickly to the attack and repelled them promptly before providing cover for him to return to safety and his vehicle.

“My lawyer is going to make a petition against the leadership of MACBAN because they came out to target me and behind the scene, they are planning to eliminate me on my own land,” he said.

“If I can’t go to the farm as governor with entire security around me then who else can go to the farm? You can imagine the pains that we have here in Benue State.

“I appreciate the security personnel attached to me they were able to repel them and they could not have access to me,” Ortom stated.

Attack on Ortom: Don’t Push Citizens To Self Help, Senator Mark Warns

Attempt To Impeach Ortom Is Unconstitutional, Says David Mark
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark (file)

 

Irked by the assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has tasked security operatives to step up to the challenges of securing lives and property to avoid the consequences of a resort to self-help.

Senator Mark in a statement on Sunday said the deteriorating security situation has become scandalous and making Nigeria a subject of ridicule before other nations.

Condemning the assassination attempt on Governor Ortom yesterday, Senator Mark frowned: “If a state Governor can be so brazenly attacked, what would they not do to the ordinary citizens.

“ Let me state clearly that Benue people are receptive and accommodating. But this should not be misconstrued or mistaken for weakness. Enough of this malady.

“If our government and security operatives can no longer guarantee people’s safety in their homes, farms, or places of business, I am worried that the situation may compel citizens to resort to self-help.

“That is the situation, we cannot contemplate and must not be allowed to happen because the consequences would be catastrophic.

“Therefore, the federal government and all the security agencies must of a necessity come to terms with the painful reality of the unabating insecurity in the land and resolve to end it”.

Senator Mark however told Ortom not to be deterred by the incident but should rather spur him to beef up security and welfare for the citizens of the state.

He noted that the Governor has lived up to his oath of office to wit; defend and protect the lives and property of Benue people without compromise.

Senator Mark advised all citizens to be security conscious at all times just as he told them to provide useful information to security operatives of any suspected activity believed to be unlawful or anti-society.

Governor Ortom was said to have been ambushed by gunmen suspected to be Fulani bandits along Tyo-MU Makurdi/Gboko road on Saturday.

He escaped by the whiskers.

Attack On Governor Ortom: IGP Orders Full Scale Investigations

A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun
A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, has ordered full-scale investigations into the circumstances surrounding the attack and reported attempt on the life of the Executive Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Samuel Ortom, at his farm in the outskirts of Makurdi, the State Capital, on Saturday, 20th March 2021.

In a statement by the police spokesman, CP Frank Mba, the IGP who condemned the incident, has equally directed the Commissioner of Police (CP), Benue State Command to take adequate measures towards strengthening and improving security in the State, particularly around the governor.

CP Mba further revealed that the IGP has also specifically directed the commissioner to carry out painstaking investigations into the incident and ensure the arrest and prosecution of persons indicted in the course of the investigations.


Gunmen Attack Governor Ortom In Benue

Attempt On Governor Ortom’s Life A Shock And Rude Awakening – NGF


Meanwhile, in order to ensure a speedy, thorough, and conclusive investigations into the matter, the IGP has ordered the immediate deployment of a team of specialized investigators from the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Abuja to Benue State to provide additional investigative support to the Benue State Police Command.

While calling for calm, the IGP has assured the people of Benue State and the country at large that the Force will continue to do its best in stabilizing the security situation in the country.

The IGP further reiterated that the Force will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to advance the fight against violent crimes and other criminal activities across the country.

PDP Condemns Attempt On Ortom’s Life, Demands Arrest Of Assailants

Governor Samuel Ortom addressed reporters on March 20, 2021 after surviving an attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
Governor Samuel Ortom addressed reporters on March 20, 2021 after surviving an attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vehemently condemned Saturday’s reckless attack and the assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State by suspected bandits reported to be killer herdsmen.

The party through its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan on Saturday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put machinery in motion by ordering an immediate manhunt, arrest, and prosecution of the assailants.

Mr Ologbondiyan in his communique also asked the President to beef up security around the governor.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Governor Ortom In Benue

The PDP expressed shock that the assailants trailed Governor Ortom and opened fire on him and his aides along Makurdi/Gboko road, in an attack that by every indication is aimed to assassinate the governor.

“Our party is worried that this brazen attempt at Governor Ortom’s life is coming on the heels of his outspokenness in exposing those allegedly behind the incessant attacks of communities in the state and demanding that the Federal Government live up to its responsibility on the protection of life and property in the state.

“The PDP fears for the life of Governor Ortom and we urge Nigerians to hold the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration responsible for its failure to take a decisive step to check the escalated insecurity and brazen attacks on innocent Nigerians,” the party’s communique partly read.

The PDP however called on Governor Ortom not to be deterred by the attack but to remain courageous and alert, at all times while providing leadership to the people of his state.

The party also called on the people of Benue State to be calm and vigilant while providing useful information to security agencies to flush bandits and criminal elements out of the state and other parts of the country.

Ortom Directs Heads Of Service To Implement Agreement On Minimum Wage

A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

 

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the State Head of Service to immediately commence implementation of the interim agreement his administration reached with labour leaders on payment of N30,000 minimum wage to civil servants on grade levels one to six.

The Governor who met with the labour union leaders on Tuesday commended them for their understanding and reaffirmed his commitment to the implementation of the agreement.

He assured Benue workers that the present administration will continue to give priority to their welfare while addressing other challenges of development.