By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has threatened to sanction more traditional rulers in the state caught harbouring criminals in their domain.
The Governor who sounded the warning on Wednesday when he spoke at the end of a security meeting with stakeholders and traditional rulers from the Benue South senatorial district said the caution became necessary because of the disturbing security challenge in the state.
According to the Governor, “If any traditional ruler allows criminals to remain in his domain and perpetrate all sorts of crimes, we will hold you responsible and equally sanctioned him.
“Traditional rulers are not just there for fun. You must make sure that you have grip of your domain and where there are issues it is your responsibility to ensure they are resolved.
“And if the issue is beyond you, you must let us know when you are having such challenges because we will not hesitate to wield the big stick if a traditional ruler is found culpable. Sanity must be restored in our communities,” he warned.
Meanwhile in a communique at the end of the meeting the stakeholders urged the government to “decisively address the issue of insecurity in the district occasioned by youths empowered by some individuals in society.
“The government should also ensure that education encompasses cultural and societal norms to prevent youths in the communities from taking to crime.”
They enjoined the government to establish a security post in Agila, Ado Local Government Area to help in resolving the boundary issues in the area. “The boundary issues in Taraku and Otukpo should also be resolved as a matter of urgency and kidnapping in Adum and Ito be checked.”
While commending Governor Ortom for his decisive steps to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic they urged security agencies to strictly enforce the restriction on Inter-State travels to contain the spread of the disease.
The stakeholders who unanimously pledged their support for the state government to succeed commended Governor Ortom for aggressively providing infrastructure in rural communities of the state.
At the meeting were Senator Abba Moro, former deputy governor, Chief Steven Lawani, former Minister of State for Niger Delta, Sam Ode, Federal and state lawmakers, political appointees and paramount rulers from the district.