Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, yesterday, launched tirades against his Bauchi State counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed. Ortom accused his colleague of supporting killer herdsmen.
He alleged that Mohammed was part of the conspiracy of the Fulani herdsmen to wipe out Benue people from their ancestral land because of the promulgation of anti-open grazing law to regulate frequent clashes between herders and farmers.
Besides, Ortom also alerted Nigerians of an alleged plot to assassinate him by his colleague, insisting that if anything happens to him (Ortom) now, he (Mohammed) should be held responsible. Ironically, both governors are elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ortom, who addressed a news conference at the government house in Makurdi, the state capital, regretted that the governor, who took oath of office to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has veered off the Constitution into allegedly sponsoring armed herdsmen.
The governor told journalists that the assassination plot was hatched in 2017 after the state validly promulgated the anti-open grazing law. “I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist organizations that has been terrorising this country.
This is a conspiracy to wipe out our people. “From what he (Bala) said and what the herdsmen wrote to me that they are going to assassinate me, and if anything happens to me, the Bauchi governor should be held responsible,” Ortom said. Ortom said Benue people are fighting against terrorists, killer herdsmen and criminality, not against any Fulani as some Nigerians believe.
“We are not against any tribe, especially the Fulani people, but rather against terrorists, killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and all types of criminals within the state.
“We are actively supporting our security agencies, to ensure that all remaining pockets of banditry, kidnappings among others, are mitigated,” he added. The governor said for any democracy to thrive, there must be enabling laws to support same, adding that his administration had, in that regard, domesticated and enacted more than 20 laws since 2015.
Ortom said Mohammed owes Nigerians apology over his comments that herdsmen should carry AK-47 and other sophisticated weapons, adding that such comments were uncalled for and an indication that Bala Mohammed was part of those terrorising the country.
He stated that Nigeria’s constitution does not allow anyone except security agents to carry arms, stressing that his colleague should go back and read the constitution to keep himself abreast of such issues. Ortom urged his Bauchi counterpart to take a cue from Governors Abdullahi Ganduje and Nasir el