*…as Benue leaders, youths demand arrest of Miyetti Allah, FUNAM leaders
*Olawepo says attack plot to destabilize BenueAttack on Ortom: Nigeria heading towards anarchy — CAN
By Peter Duru & Dirisu Yakubu— MAKURDI
As outrage continues to trail last Saturday’s attack on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, by suspected armed herders at Tyo-Mu, outskirts of Makurdi town, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN yesterday warned that Nigeria was heading towards anarchy.
This came as leaders of the Association of Benue Socio-Cultural Organisations, ABSCO, pleaded with the international community to intervene in the worsening insecurity in Nigeria and save the country from a looming disaster and disintegration.
Similarly, League of Friends Association, LFA, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of the leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, and that of Fulani Nationalist Movement, FUNAM, who claimed responsibility for the attack on the governor and herdsmen crisis in Benue State.
Reacting to the attack, State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Akpen Leva, warned that the attack on the governor was an indication that “Nigeria is heading to anarchy. If a governor of a state would be attacked for no genuine reason, it then means Nigeria is fast becoming a lawless state. This is incredible.
“Nigerians should all rise up to condemn this satanic act. What is happening to Benue state and Governor Ortom is not confined to Benue state and the Governor alone. It has already degenerated and all Nigerians will in no distant future begin to feel the effect of the barbaric act.”
Also, briefing journalists in Makurdi, Chairman of LFA Dr. Frank Kyungun, insisted that the federal government should arrest for questioning, the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the FUNAM and other extremist groups fanning the embers of disunity and violence in the country as being demanded by statholders across the country.
Dr. Kyungun drew the attention of the security agencies to the various perceived threats issued by Fulani socio-cultural associations where they blamed Governor Ortom for the plight of Fulani herdsmen because of the Benue State anti-grazing law.
He said “The League of Friends call on the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to fish out these assailants and swiftly prosecute them according to the laws of the country and beef up security around the governor and Benue communities in order to prevent the re-occurrence of this ugly event.
“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.”
On his part, Chairman of ABSCO, Chief Iorbee Ihagh, at a briefing in Makurdi said “since it has become clear that the federal government is incapable of arresting the activities of bloodthirsty herdsmen, it is therefore imperative to ask the international community particularly the West to come to the rescue of Nigeria to save us from a looming disaster and disintegration.
“We are also worried that those who claimed responsibility for this particular attack and killings in our state walk the streets of Abuja without any effort to arrest them for questioning.”
Protesting Benue youths under the aegis of Coalition of Benue youths, yesterday stormed the Benue Government House to protest against the attack on the Benue Governor.
The various youth groups including students leaders who carried placards with inscriptions like ‘we will defend our land’, ‘do not turn Nigeria to Cowgeria’ and ‘we will not repeal our grazing law’, ‘declare herdsmen terrorist now’, among others through their leaders warned against any plot to assassinate Governor Ortom “because it will be the biggest mistake of all time.”
Receiving the protesters, the governor appealed to them to be civil assuring that he would continue to stand in defense of the Benue people. He urged them to be patient and await the outcome of the ongoing investigation into the attack warning that the investigation should be thorough and not be “business as usually.”
Plot to destabilise Benue
Meanwhile, ex-presidential hopeful in the 2019 general elections, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, yesterday in Abuja, condemned the attack on Governor Ortom, saying the attack was a move to cause unrest in the North-Central state.
Olawepo-Hashim, in a statement in Abuja, noted that the attack on Ortom by armed terrorists while the Governor visited his farm near Makurdi, “was an indication that criminal elements have infiltrated the region, posing a threat to law-abiding citizens no matter their status in life.
“Just recently, the elder brother to Senator Gabriel Suswan, a former governor of the state was killed. Such high profile killing and the recent attempt on the life of Governor Ortom is an indication that some people are not happy with the peaceful order in the state.”
“The police must spare no resources to apprehend and bring to justice those who masterminded, planned and executed this assassination attempt.
“This assassination attempt further brings to mind the urgency for our call for states police. No Chief executive or citizen of any state in our Republic should ever again be left to the mercy of callous and increasingly audacious non-state actors.”