…says President biased on herders’ killings
…seeks arrest of Miyetti Allah leaders
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, yesterday, took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of being biased in the fight against insurgency and tackling the menace of armed Fulani herdsmen across the country. The accusation followed the worsening state of insecurity across the nation, occasioned by rampant kidnapping of people, attacks on communities and killing of Nigerians by bandits and killer herdsmen in different parts of Nigeria.
The governor, who spoke to journalists at the Government House, Makurdi after a successful recovery from COVID-19 infection that had kept him in isolation, said the current insecurity being witnessed across the country was being fuelled by militant herdsmen. Ortom said it was regrettable that the President who promised that he was for everybody and not for anybody has now changed gear to be president of the Fulani people alone to the detriment of other ethnic groups in the country. “This country belongs to all of us and the President must act fast because time is going.
From North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-West, South-East and South-South, there is general insecurity and this is being propelled by herdsmen. “I want to repeat today, I had written to the presidency and security agencies before that if they want peace in this country, Miyetti Allah members must be arrested because these are people who have accepted responsibility that they have killed and maimed, raped our women and done all sorts of atrocities and yet their leadership is in Abuja and nobody is confronting them. Until these people are arrested, there won’t be peace in this country,” he said.
The governor lamented that a cabal whom he described as “mediocres and sycophants hovering around the corridors of power” were also contributing significantly to the worsening insecurity confronting the nation as they were not letting Buhari, see the excruciating sufferings Nigerians have been passing through in the hands of herdsmen and bandits. “The Federal Government is bias and unfair to Nigerians; the failure in security is caused by the Federal Government.
What I perceive is that the President is not aware of the killings, because if he was aware, he would have stopped it. “I know General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as someone who is disciplined but the people around him, sycophants and mediocres are not willing to let him know the pains that Nigerians are going through.
“When will the Federal Government come out and criticise and arrest herdsmen carrying AK 47? Are we second class citizens in this country? What makes a Fulani man superior to any other person and a Tiv man in particular?” Ortom asked. He commended his colleague governors from the South-West over their firm stand against open grazing, saying the law banning open grazing in Benue State had come to stay and nothing will compel his administration to repeal it.
He disclosed that hundreds of Fulani cattle rearers have been convicted by the state government for contravening the law, adding that some have paid various fines; some were in prison while thousands of cattle had been arrested and quarantined since the law came into force.