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Monday, 22 January 2018

Perpetrators of Benue killings will not know peace - Governor Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has rained curses on those responsible for the recent killing of over 73 people in some local government areas of the state.

While speaking at an emergency stakeholders meeting in Makurdi on Monday, January 22, Governor Ortom laid curses on the killers and those who sponsored them, saying that they will never have peace, Daily Trust reports.

Governor Ortom said: "Like I said during the memorial service, I will repeat it again, all those who failed to act on those letters that could have stopped the killings will one day account for the blood of our lost ones. They will account for the blood of those 73 victims buried in mass grave on the day of reckoning. Those perpetrartors and their sponsors will not know peace."

In response to those accusing him of sponsoring 6000 armed militia, the governor said that such people are only distracting others from the seriousness of the Benue crisis.He noted: "It is not just enough to identify the Islamic state as being behind the killings, they should arrest them and prosecute them.

And those accusing me of using this crisis to achieve political means in 2019 should look for something else because they are not Benue indigenes and they are on their own."

Ortom however praised security agencies, whose effort, as he stressed, went a long way to reduce tension and disorder in the state. The governor expressed his worry over rising tension at the Agatu axis of the state due to some alleged armed herders crossing over the River Benue from the Nasarawa side into the area for grazing.

The governor stated: "We have a law in Benue state and no herder is expected to openly graze their cattle. Doing so would be violating the law; they would be arrested and prosecuted. Our people were still harvesting their farm produce when the current crisis happened and we hope that the matter is resolved quickly so that they can return to their homes."

Benue state government had denied the report that members of the state livestock guard are illegally armed.

The commander of the group and senior special assistant to the governor on special security, Aliyu Tershaku, faulted the report on Sunday, January 21, in an interview with Channels Television in Makurdi, the state capital.

It was reported that Tershaku said the guards have never been armed on an assault mission against herdsmen between Benue and Taraba state boundary.
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