Who is after Governor Ortom’s Life?


Last weekend was not without any drama. The news of the attempt to assassinate the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom by suspected Fulani militias, along Tyo-Mu-Abetse-Gboko Road, in Makurdi Local Council of the state spread across the country like wildfire.

This is not the first time an attempt is made on the life of Governor Samuel Ortom. But what seems unclear is why he is wanted dead. Is it because of his stance on killer herdsmen or his political affiliation?

According to reports, the governor is lucky to be alive after the some gun welding men dressed in black stormed out of bushes and started shooting at his convoy while he was returning from his farm situated on Gboko road.

Speaking with newsmen in Makurdi, the State capital, Ortom said “It is normal for me as a farmer to go to my farm on Saturday. On my way back from my farm along Gboko road today, we started hearing gunshots. And we saw people dressed in black, they were Fulani herdsmen.

“They shot at us, but my security men were able to repel them, and we escaped unhurt. Nobody in my convoy was injured. From what I saw, they were more than 15 who came after us. They could be more than that,” he narrated.

‘Not the first attempt on my life’

Ortom, however, alleged that it was not the first time, the suspected herders have tried to kill him, noting that intelligence report available to him indicated that a group of herders in their general meeting held in Yola, Adamawa State, recently singled him out for elimination on grounds that he is working against them.

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He added, “I heard I was targeted for elimination. This is not the first time. I heard intelligence report before now that they will kill my security men and capture me alive, then they will be killing me gradually. But, they have failed, they are not God and can’t kill me.

“They made attempt today (Saturday) but my security men repelled them, and they could not take me. I’m not going to subject myself to any intimidation whatsoever. I don’t have problem with Fulani as a race, but I have problem with Fulani who are bandits. My people and I will not be slave to them.”

The governor further intimated that he has detailed his lawyer to immediately instigate a legal suit against the Myetti Allah Kautal Hore leadership because he believes the organization is behind the bandits who cause problem.

Buhari condemns attack

A statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja said the brutal attacks on individuals and communities in the state, with the latest one targeting the governor, was unacceptable.

Buhari welcomed the dispatch of a high level team of crack investigators to the state from the Police headquarters in Abuja, urging the officers to uncover who, or whatsoever, was behind the attacks and bring them to justice.

He also expressed his sympathies, and that of the government of the federation to Ortom and Benue indigenes.

Buhari, however, maintained that the unfortunate incident must not be politicized, reiterating that “an attack on one Nigerian is an attack on all Nigerians.”

The president directed the Police to undertake a thorough investigation into the incident involving the governor and into all such incidents affecting individuals and communities in the state.

“Let there be open and transparent investigation and whoever is linked to it should be caught and be made to face the law,” he further directed.