MAKURDI – Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Saturday disclosed how he survived an assassination attempt by killer herdsmen even as he called on President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies to fish out the criminals terrorising the state.
Ortom spoke to reporters after surviving an attack allegedly carried out by armed herdsmen in Makurdi.
He was visiting a farm when the attackers struck but his security detail was able to repel them.
Mr Ortom said he ran for “more than one and a half kilometres without stopping” to escape the assault.
Benue is one of the states at the centre of Nigeria’s farmers-herdsmen clashes.
“I appreciate the security men attached to me. They were able to repel them and they could not have access to me. And thank God for my fitness to have ran for more than one and a half kilometres without stopping. It means that God has given me strength and I am grateful to God.
“I don’t have problems with any Fulani man or Fulani race. But I have a problem with Fulani bandits who have vowed to take over Nigeria as their ancestral home. And I say no. Not when I am here and when I am Governor leading my state. If I can’t go the farm as Governor, with the entire security around me, then who else can go to farm. You can imagine the pains that we have here in Benue State.
“Thank God for Mr President who responded to my letter that anyone with AK-47 should be shot at sight. I’m yet to see that. Let me see it happen in Benue State.
“I have reported these to the security agencies and I hope that this will be done so that the land will be safe for our people to go back to farm and do their work and survive and live their lives.
“I want to call on Mr President, on the security agencies to fish these people out. They are in the forest between Makurdi and Abinse. They are living there and they are coming out to commit atrocities – rape women, kill our people, maim them, destroy our farmlands. And anytime the security agencies go after them, they run across the river and back to the forest.”