Middle Belt group calls for resignation of Governor Ortom over Benue killings

Adesina Ogunlana

The National Chairman of the group, Honourable Kassim Mohammad Kassim, who briefed newsmen in Owerri, Imo State, declared that the comments of the Ekiti State Governor on the herdsmen killings and other national security issues were inciting and unbecoming of a leader.

The group accused the governor of shifting the blame of the killing on President Mohammadu Buhari by making unconvincing public statements.It said: "You have elected upon yourself to ridicule the office of Mr. President and a leader of Nigeria who has attested in words and deeds that the security of lives and property of Nigerians anywhere they reside in the country is paramount and not negotiable".

He, therefore, charged the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and stop state sponsorship of militias from festering as the outcome of it would fall on its head, and consequently called on it to deploy the military to the two states to suppress activities of militias.

Salawu alleged that the youth that Benue Taraba State governor, Mr Smuel Ortom, misled with the uniform of Livestock Guards, after signing the law, brazenly went on an extortion spree against herders while not a few of them appropriated the said law to engage in cattle rustling.

"Lawrence Onoja, former military governor of Katsina state, described the attacks" a conspiracy against the indigenes" and said it would be resisted.

He said the herders have failed if the killings were meant to coerce the administration into reversing the law.

Plateau state governor, Samson Lalong had faulted the anti-grazing law, saying he warned Ortom against it.

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He assured the United Nations would further discuss the details of the assistance with the Benue governor and prayed for peace in the state.

He said, "We will not modify the anti open grazing law as demanded by Miyetti Allah as condition for peace to reign".

"We want an enlightened approach to this matter".

Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has asserted that the anti-grazing law in the state will not be repealed despite the recent heinous attacks by the Fulani herdsmen. "I will continue to insist on the arrest of the factional leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Houre".

Earlier in his funeral oration, the Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Most Rev. Williams Avenya, prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead and called for prayers for the survivors of the attacks.

They have expressed concerns over the increasingly frequent ethnic clashes in the state and fear that the situation could escalate like the Boko Haram crisis in the north-east of the country.International human rights group Amnesty International also sent a tweet: "That herdsmen, ethnic militias and cult groups kill Nigerians easily should be a wakeup call for the Nigerian government to ensure accountability for every violation of human rights".

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