Fayose visits Benue, reiterates call for restructuring
• Gives IDPs N10m, accuses Buhari of double standards
• Ortom says govt, people remain resolute
• Army arrests armed militias
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, yesterday visited Benue to commiserate with the government and the people over the gruesome murder of 73 on New Year Day by suspected herdsmen in Guma and Logo council areas of the state.
Speaking in Makurdi, the capital, Fayose swore that God would visit the blood of the victims on the killers and their sponsors, even as he reiterated his call for the restructuring of the country.
The governor declared support for the state’s anti-grazing law, urging the people to stand by the piece of legislation.
He said: “Since the law is for the Benue people and not residents of other states, there should not be any problem about its enforcement.”
His Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said in a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti that the governor, accompanied by his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola; Chief of Staff, Chief Dipo Anisulowo; Chairman of the State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Dr Samuel Omotoso among others, was received at the Makurdi Airport by Governor Samuel Ortom and other top functionaries at exactly 12:23p.m.
The statement indicated that Fayose visited the Genabe mass grave where the 73 persons were buried with prayers offered for the victims by Prof. Olusola.
He also paid homage to former Governor Gabriel Suswam at his Makurdi home.
Fayose urged the people to be united in prayers, noting that “whosoever that is in government during the time of peace, posterity will remember him while those in powers when innocent people are being killed in the most barbaric manner, will not be forgotten too.”
He advised the indigenes to “change vehicle since the present vehicle of change has broken down.”
Fayose was, however, unsparing of President Muhammadu Buhari whom he accused of double standards.
He decried a situation where a particular group was unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens yet allegedly gets special treatment whereas others with lesser offences were being made to face the wrath of the law.
Describing the Benue massacre as ethnic cleansing, Fayose later donated N10 million to alleviate the suffering of the displaced persons spread in different camps across the state.
The host governor thanked the visitor for the gesture, restating that the authorities charged with the protection of lives and property never heeded his earlier alerts.
His words: “Nigeria and Benue can never be the same. There is going to be a turn-around that has never been witnessed in this country. I have thus decided to join my brother, Fayose, to be outspoken on things that are not done rightly in this country. Anything that is not right here, I will challenge it. How can you be beating me and you don’t want me to cry.”
He described restructuring of the country as the panacea to the ongoing “maladministration and open bias of the security agencies.”
Meanwhile, troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Makurdi have arrested two armed militias.
In a statement, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Major Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni, said the arrest was affected during a routine patrol along Gbajimba – Iyordye road in Guma council area.
According to him, the militias were suspected to be converging for a possible attack on Governor Ortom’s fish farm located in the area.
The army spokesman said when the troops made a stop to query the militias, they immediately opened fire.
He hinted that the arrested members had been handed over to the police.
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