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Ortom seeks immediate trial of arrested Islamic State fighters

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has asked security agencies, especially the Department of State Services (DSS), to immediate prosecute those recently arrested as Islamic State fighters.

At a stakeholders’ meeting in Makurdi, the governor regretted that the nation’s security personnel were still inadequate to effectively secure its borders. He hinted that besides the 18 in prison custody, fresh five herdsmen were arrested by the police at the weekend in Guma Local Council of the state for violating the law.

According to him, “it is shameless for people to allege that my government is sponsoring over 6,000 militias. The move is a mere diversionary tactic from the main issue confronting the state and nation at this time.”

Ortom continued: “We are now faced with the issue of 80,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) camped in Daudu, Gbajimba, Utsav, Anyiin and Ugba. Let us continue to be firm and law-abiding. What is happening now is deliberate. They want us to be angry and do their desire but we are not going to do their bidding. We will do the right thing. We are on the winning side. Nothing is too much for me to give as a sacrifice to Benue people. I know that the day of reckoning will come when the truth shall be told with righteousness.”

However, former Minister of State for Education, Prof. Jerry Agada, has raised the alarm over an influx of suspected herdsmen in Agatu council area of the state, saying the Fulani Ardo of Doma in Nasarawa had allegedly boasted to visit mayhem on the people.

To erstwhile Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada and Mexico, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, the Federal Government has failed to end the war on the Benue valley, adding that the current situation calls for the urgent restructuring of the federation to pave way for state police.

The leader of Igede socio-cultural group, Onmiyi Igede Ode Enyi said: “We are giving the governor and our monarchs two weeks to withdraw from the Northern Governors’ Forum and Northern Traditional Rulers Council. We are for restructuring and Benue is even qualify to be a country.”

Senator Joseph Waku, on his part, enjoined the governor to be heroic by sacrificing for the people, saying he would emerge victoriously at the end.

The Minister of Steel in the second republic and spiritual leader of Tiv nation, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, reiterated the need for the people to defend themselves, warning that they could not continue to be slaughtered like chickens.

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