Owo Attack: I Share In This Grief, Says Ortom

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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 identified with his Ondo state counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, over the gruesome killing of his kinsmen at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state on Sunday. 

The Governor said Owo, the hometown of Governor Akeredolu has suddenly become the epic centre of terrorist attacks just like Guma local government area in Benue state has constantly been invaded by terrorists.

“I identify and share in this grief with my brother, Governor Akeredolu over the unprovoked massacre of his kinsmen inside the Church,” Ortom said, as quoted in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Nathaniel Ikyur.

READ ALSO: Owo Killings An Unspeakable Evil, Perpetrators Will Face The Law – Osinbajo

“I have suffered similar attacks and the loss of my kindred at the hands of these terrorists. I was personally attacked on my farm sometime last year by Fulani herdsmen. Till date, none of those arrested has been prosecuted. And these terrorists have continued killing our people in various communities without any arrest.

“I can say that the Owo murderous act, like the continued invasion of communities in Guma and other local government areas in the state is more than mere coincidence that Governor Akeredolu and myself are targeted for attacks and threat of assassination because of our resolve to enact the open grazing prohibition law. It is the decision of the people of the state that this law will never be altered or revoked.”

The Governor added: “Is it not curious that this dastard killing in Owo is coming a few days after the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, while addressing Fulani at its headquarters rained curses on some state governors whom, he claimed, chased Fulani pastoralists away from their states using state systems? This was immediately after its policy dialogue on the Future of Fulani in Abuja with delegates from 16 African countries.”

Governor Ortom lamented: “We have been marked for elimination because of our resolve for the sanctity of the Open Grazing Prohibition And Ranches Establishment Law. Our decision is because we believe in a decent society where respect for human rights and rule of law is supreme which the terrorists and their sponsors feel otherwise.”

The Governor insisted that “given the lukewarm attitude of the federal government towards the bloodletting going on in every community in the country, it is obvious that they are complicit in the atrocities being visited on Nigerians. This is unacceptable and must be brought to an end.”

He maintained: “I will not be intimidated to abandon my people. I have resolved to defend my people even with the last pint of my blood,” the Governor said.

He urged Akeredolu to stand firm for his people believing that the days of the evil men are numbered.

Ortom said while the security operatives are encouraged to continue to protect lives and property, the unabating security challenges demand that citizens should rise up to defend themselves forthwith.

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