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Hold FG responsible if Ortom is assassinated – Wike

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Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike

• PDP Demands Investigation Into Gov’s Attack
• ACF Condemns Onslaught

A barrage of condemnation, yesterday, trailed the attempted assassination of the Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, by gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias, along Tyo-Mu-Abetse-Gboko Road, in Makurdi Local Council of the state.

While Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State wants the Federal Government to be held responsible if Ortom is assassinated, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the police to investigate the attack on the governor’s convoy.

The incident, which happened between 10 and 11 am yesterday, as the governor was returning from a farm inspection in the area, saw militia herders, numbering over 15 and dressed in black attire, ambushing his convoy and opened fire on them.

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“I thank God for my security men who repelled the attackers. I ran for more than one and a half kilometres without stopping,” the governor recounted.

The attack came a few days after the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore met in Yola, Adamawa State, and allegedly singled him out as a thorn in their flesh, who must be eliminated. The governor alleged that he had received intelligence to that effect.

Ortom, who vowed never to be intimidated despite the attack, insisted that he would not repeal the Benue law on ranching.

“My life is in the hands of God and no Fulani militia has the power to take it without His permission… I am sending a petition to the President and the security chiefs against Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, as allowing their leaders to walk freely with security personnel attached to them is not in the country’s best interest,” said.

A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, quoted Wike, in his reaction to the attack, as stressing that if the Benue State governor is killed, the country could be plunged into another civil war, and there will be “no more Nigeria.”

“If you kill Ortom, then be prepared to bury Nigeria. If anything happens to Governor Ortom, the Federal Government will be held responsible and they should be prepared that there will be no more Nigeria.”

The PDP in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s spokesman, said it is worrisome that the attack came after Ortom had called on the Federal Government to protect the life and property of Nigerians.

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The party called on the police to commence an immediate investigation and ultimately arrest the assailants.

“PDP expresses shock at the attack on Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, by alleged herdsmen,” Ologbondiyan said.

“It is worrisome that this attack is coming on the heels of passionate demands by Dr. Ortom that FG live up to its responsibility on the protection of life and property of Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned the attack on Ortom’s convoy.

The National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, said: “We thank God that Governor Ortom escaped the attack by armed bandits. Most of the attacks and killings in Benue State are purely as a result of politics.

“We should not always blame what is going on in Benue State on Fulani herdsmen alone. In most cases, the Tivs also have the share of the blame of attacks and other crimes committed in the state…”

The ACF spokesman called on Ortom to find a solution to the spate of attacks and killings by indigenous natives in the state, rather than always heaping blames on Fulanis.

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