By Peter Duru, Makurdi
GOVERNOR Samuel Ortom has said the deliberate failure of the Federal Government to check the activities of armed Fulani herdsmen in parts of the country is fuelling insecurity and insurgency in Nigeria. The Governor made the assertion yesterday against the backdrop of the statement by the recently kidnapped Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu-Uche who after regaining his freedom from his Fulani herdsmen abductors, disclosed that the herders spoke to his hearing that they were on a mission to take over Nigeria.
Speaking while swearing-in three new High Court Judges in Makurdi, Governor Ortom noted that the revelation by the Prelate had validated his persistent outcry about the mission of armed herders in the country and the failure of the Federal Government to halt the activities of the marauders in the country.
According to Governor: “By the provisions of the law, nobody is allowed to carry prohibited weapons, but Fulani(herdsmen) are exempted from it. They sack the people from their homes and kill innocent citizens and the Federal Government will not label them a terrorist organisation. What do you expect us to do? If we decided to be lawless too by trying to protect ourselves, by acquiring weapons, then there will be lawlessness because the first rule of life is self-preservation. While the issue of security remains with the Federal Government, how can anybody explain that the Prelate of the Methodist Church was kidnapped in far away Abia State where security personnel who go after Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Nnamdi Kanu are stationed but they are not going after the Fulani(herdsmen) who are terrorising the people?
“The rule of law is not being respected by the Federal Government; Fulani(herdsmen) have no right or immunity to carry AK-47 but they are allowed. I have always said this openly without fear, because I know one can only die once; the Federal Government is complicit in the security problem so that the Fulanis can take over. I am happy that the Fulanis who kidnapped the Prelate said to his hearing that Nigeria belongs to them and they want to take over. It is troubling that they collected N100 million ransom from the Prelate and told him that they would use the money to buy arms and use it to fight the people.
“Those who have chosen to keep quiet, those who are complacent, and those who think it’s not them, their turn can come and they will understand what the challenge is.
“I have more than 1.5million IDPs in camps today and somebody would say I should not be talking, was I elected as Governor to rule over IDPs? We cannot go to our villages, we cannot go to the farm, what do you want the people to do? And somebody is saying I should not talk.
“It is a sad development but I will continue to say the truth. What is happening is not fair, the Federal Government should stop playing lip service to the security situation in the country.”
The Governor who charged the new Judges to discharge their responsibilities dispassionately called for complete financial autonomy for the judiciary. The newly sworn-in Judges includes Justice Felicia Ikyegh, Justice Omale Anebi and Justice John Shishi.