Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has declared that the state is currently on fire.
Ortom said he had to cut short his vacation because of the senseless killing of his people by herdsmen.
Speaking shortly after arriving the country from his holiday abroad, the emotion-laden governor asserted that the climax of the whole attacks was the recent killing of two clerics and 17 others in the state.
The governor, who fought back tears while addressing newsmen at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, called on his people to get prepared.
He said, “There is no way my state would be on fire with the magnitude of what we are seeing today and I’ll still be on vacation. I cannot be on vacation when the entire state is on fire to this magnitude. I never expected what is happening to have taken place. I know my Deputy, the Acting Governor is doing his best.
“I’ve been in touch with him on daily basis but at this particular time he needs me and other stakeholders of the state to come together, and of course the Presidency, to stop this pogrom that is going on. This is unwarranted. There is no basis for this whatsoever.
“The fact that we have chosen to be law abiding should not be seen as weakness on our side but we’ve chosen that we’ll support government and ensure that at all times we follow due process, we respect the laws of the land and that is why we’ve not taken laws into our hands.
“I’ll continue to appeal to our people to be law abiding but this thing has to stop. Like I keep saying after Benue it’ll be another state. So it’s not just about Benue. You can see the killings going on all over the place. But the climax of this is the killing of clergymen worshiping in the house of God.
“That is what has led me not to even think about sleeping but to come back. I believe that the Presidency would definitely act on this. We appreciate Mr. President for coming out to condemn this act and I believe he will also direct that these people must be arrested because they are known. The security operatives know where they are and there is every need for us to support the security agencies because I’ve also appreciated the fact that they’re really overwhelmed with the situation.
“The communities must come together and do everything that is law abiding to defend themselves. I’ve always said that self preservation is the first law of nature. There’s no point running away. I’m aware that people who ran away to IDP camps were also killed so why are you running? Those who did not run were killed, those who ran were killed.
“So, it is better, if you make some attempts and support the security agencies, you may have some way of helping so there is no point running away. The Federal Government is aware of this, the state Government is aware of this, and the security agencies are aware of this but they are completely overwhelmed.
“Nigerians, Benue State people must rise up so that together we can work with security agencies and see where we can come in whether by way of logistics, by way of physical support to the security agencies to ensure that they overcome this. It’ll be better for all of us. There is no point running away.
“Every Benue State man and woman must be prepared because Benue State is under siege and we have no other place to go. We can’t go to any other state and take over the land of another state. It’s a land we have and we must stand to defend it but we must be law abiding in all that we’re going to do. I believe that based on the statement from the Presidency action would be followed and these killings would stop.
“I want to condole Benue people especially the Catholic Church. This is unwarranted, people who have made sacrifice of their lives to preach peace and bring love for mankind to pass through this kind of thing I think it’s unwarranted and this will not be accepted.”