By Peter Duru
Makurdi — Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said the renewed killings in the state by suspected armed herdsmen would not compel government to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law enacted by the government in 2017.
Recall that 16 of the Governor’s kinsmen who were timber traders were last Monday killed in Udei and Yelwata by suspected armed herdsmen after a similar incident in Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of the state also claimed the lives of many.
The Governor spoke yesterday in Makurdi after presiding over the State Executive Council, SEC, meeting and after receiving the awards bestowed on him from several organisations around the country from top government functionaries who represented him at the said occasions.
He said, “Our people have remained resolute that they will not surrender Benue land to Fulani herdsmen who are terrorizing our people with the support of the Federal Government. Even in the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, I have asked them severally if we should repeal the grazing law but they insisted that the law must be in place, and not repealed.
“So those who are thinking that they would come and repeal the law are only day dreaming. Those behind the plot should come here in Benue and tell the people that and see if they will not be stoned.
“So for us in Benue State we have taken a no retreat, no surrender posture. I am not intimidated and Benue people are not intimidated. I will continue to do the bidding of Benue people who elected me and have stood solidly behind me in the last seven years.
“The renewed killings will not intimidate us, I have asked my people to get themselves armed to defend themselves. We must not allow the terrorists get to us, we must all defend ourselves and do not allow them get to you first.
“It is unfortunate that our country has come to this. President Muhammadu Buhari must know that all is not well with Nigeria and those telling him anything in the contrary is fine are not telling him the truth, they are deceiving him and they do not mean well for this country.
“The President must know that nobody is safe in this country anymore. Our worship places, our roads and even the rail lines are no longer safe. The president must know that terrorists have surrounded Nigeria and the citizens have become easy prey.
“The President must be told that everything he thinks he has achieved in his tenure has all been rubbished by the worsening insecurity in the country and he has an opportunity to remedy the situation before the expiration of his tenure.”