Miffed by the failed assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom, the Benue State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); and League of Friends’ Association to the governor yesterday, rose in defence of their kinsman, by calling for the arrest and prosecution of the leaderships of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH) and Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM).
The leaders and Benue State chapter of CAN maintained that their position was informed by MAKH and FUNAM’s alleged roles in the attack on the governor last Saturday.
But cautioning against trivialising the issue, Ortom yesterday urged Nigerians not to politicise the act but to treat it on the merit of the state of insecurity in the country, just as the North Central Governors Forum (NCGF), called for a thorough investigation by relevant security agents.
Reacting, the trio of CAN; ethnic leaders and League of Friends Association to Ortom, who briefed journalists separately in Makurdi, condemned the failed assassination plot on the governor.
They described the act as a desperate attempt “by frustrated and disgruntled elements to kill the governor and truncate full implementation of the anti open grazing law of the state.”
Speaking, CAN Chairman, Rev. Akpen Leva, said the attack was a clear indication that Nigeria was heading to anarchy. He said: “No country can be as loosed and lawless like this except Nigeria.
How can FUNAM claim responsibility of assassination attempt, threat to lives, killing of armless citizens and destruction of property and yet walk the streets free?
This is capable of threatening the corporate existenceof ourbelovednation.” Commenting, President- General of Association of Benue ethnic socio-cultural organisations, CP Iorbee Ihagh (rtd), urged the Federal Government to order for the immediate arrest of the leadership of MAKH as prime suspects in the attack on the governor.
He said: “We petition the Federal Government to order for the immediate arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as prime suspects in the unwholesome attack on our executive governor for proper interrogation.
“We also call on the Federal Government to without delay, declare MAKH a terrorist group and treat them as such for the interest and well-being of the law abiding Nigerians.
“Benue people initiated the grazing law and are fully behind the governor and would continue to relentlessly support and ensure the full and speedy implementation of the law.”
Also briefing the media, the League of Friends of Ortom, called on the President Buhari-led government to urgently fish out the assailants and swiftly prosecute them according to the laws of the country.
Chairman of the League, Dr. Frank Ikyungun and Secretary, Vincent Shagbaor, implored the Presidency to beef up security around the governor and Benue communities in order to prevent the re-occurrence of the ugly event.
He said: “We call on the Police to quickly launch an investigation into this satanic attack on the governor and bring the culprits and their sponsors to book to serve as a deterrent to others bent on threatening the peace, security and unity of the country.” While urging Nigerians not to politicise the issue, after an emergency security council meeting, Ortom said everyone was part of the fight against insecurity and the earlier people treat security issues on its merit, the better. He stated that the security council had reviewed the situation and decided that government would provide the political will, while security agencies work assiduously to unmasked those behind the attack on him. The governor appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering an investigation into the attack and various leaders in the country across political divides as well as traditional rulers and the clergy for showing solidarity with him since the incident occurred. He reiterated his call on the Federal Government and security agencies to arrest and prosecute the leadership of Fulani Nationality Movement,
FUNAM and MAKH for suspected complicity in various attacks in parts of the country. Meanwhile, the NCGF, which has Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, as its chairman, described as dangerous this dimension of insecurity in the country, adding that something urgent and drastic must be done collectively to curtail the situation which he said is a threat to the nation’s corporate coexistence.
Bello, in a statement, said: “This issue of insecurity in our nation needs all and sundry to be collectively responsible in addressing it irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliations.”