COSEYL backs Ortom on call for farmers to bear arms
Governor Samuel Ortom

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed anger over the sustained invasion of Benue communities and killing of innocent people by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen.

The Governor in a statement yesterday in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, was reacting to Tuesday’s bloody activities of Fulani herdsmen who reportedly hacked many of their victims to death in unprovoked attacks in Guma, Kwande and Gwer West Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state. He urged the people to rise up and defend themselves.

According to the statement, “a report from the team leader of security agencies in Kasekyo near Tse Torkula village in Guma LGA said suspected Fulani herders at about 9:30am on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, shot one Turner Ajar and an unidentified elderly man who were on a motorcycle going to the farm.

“The team of Agro Rangers who were on patrol in the area ran into the attack. Unfortunately, the victims had already been killed. Their corpses were taken and deposited at a hospital in Gbajimba, Guma LGA of the state.”In Kpankeeke, a suburb on the outskirts of Naka, headquarters of Gwer West LGA, gory images of persons killed by another set of herdsmen littered the streets. The Agro Rangers team was alerted and they moved to the location alongside the Army and Police. The patrol team found the body of one  Ahemba Apeelu, an aged man at a sawmill from Saav/Ukusu Council Ward who was slaughtered and his throat slit.”Others identified to have been killed by the invaders include Tersoo Yasough and a young lady known as Martha Ukange. Another body of a young man yet to be identified was later sighted along the road.  Another body yet to be identified was recovered too.  The search for more persons who are said to be missing is ongoing in the affected communities.

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“Reacting also, Benue State governorship aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former CPS to Governor Ortom, Mr. Terver Akase, expressed sadness over the attack on communities in Guma, Kwande and Gwer West Local Government Areas, LGAs of the state by suspected armed herdsmen.

Mr. Akase who condemned the spate of unprovoked attacks in the state by the armed herders commiserated with families who lost loved ones in the separate incidents.The aspirant in a statement by the Director Media, Terver Akase Governorship Campaign Organization, Mr. Nathaniel Nongu, issued Wednesday in Makurdi lamented the dastardly attacks that left scores dead and others missing, saying “the killing of innocent citizens in coordinated attacks on the state remains a source of great distress.”

He appealed to security agencies to “step up efforts at combating the sustained carnage and killing spree visited on communities in the State.”

He commended Governor Samuel Ortom for his firm stand against open grazing of animals and the invasion of Benue communities by the armed herders, saying that “the Governor has led from the front regarding the security situation in the state.”

He prayed God to console families whose relatives were killed in the mindless attacks and grant eternal rest to the departed.

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