The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has ordered a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attempt on the life of the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, by suspected herdsmen on Saturday.
Adamu also directed the immediate strengthening of security around the Governor, with a view to forestalling future attacks.
The directives were contained in a statement, yesterday, by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba. New Telegraph reports that Ortom had told journalists in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Saturday, that gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked him on his farm at Tyo-Mu community, along Gboko Road.
The Benue Governor said prior to the attack on his life, he had received intelligence reports of plans to kill his security details, so as to pave the way for his capture and possible killing by installment.
He explained that he ran for about two kilometres, while his security aides battled the attackers. There has been no love lost between the Governor and members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), since the former signed into law the bill prohibiting open grazing in the state.
“You know today is Saturday and it is normal as a farmer, I usually go to my farm on Saturdays.
So I went to my farm along Gboko Road and, while trekking out of the farm, on our way back, we started hearing gunshots and we saw people a little afar, who were dressed in black and from experience, we realised that these were the criminal militia.
“I did not want to take things for granted because, few days ago, the media were awash with a statement from Miyetti Allah, which had met in Yola, the same place they met in 2016, where they declared that they will take over Nigeria and that every other person is a slave and that was when they started infiltrating the entire country.
“I appreciate the security personnel attached to me, they were able to repel them and they could not have access to me. “I thank God for my fitness too.
To be able to run for close to two kilometres without stopping, means that God has given me strength, and I am grateful to God”, the Governor was quoted to have said.
Consequently, the IGP has ordered maximum security cover around the Benue chief executive, while full-scale investigations to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attack, are ongoing. To demonstrate his resolve to get to the root of the incident, a specialised team from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), has been drafted to the state, to undertake the task.
This is even as the Commissioner of Police in the state has been directed to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of the act.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP… 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, Chief Samuel Loraer Ortom, at his farm in the outskirts of Makurdi, the State Capital, on Saturday, 20th March, 2021”,
Mba said in the statement. He said 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”.
He added that: “The IGP has also specifically directed the CP to carry out painstaking investigations into the incident and ensure the arrest and prosecution of persons in- dicted in the course of the investigations.
“In order to ensure a speedy, thorough and conclusive investigation 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 reiterates that the Force will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to advance the fight against violent crimes and other criminal activities across the country”.