- Governor Samuel Ortom visited a camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue state
- Ortom reportedly said he was tired of keeping IDPs in camps
- The governor urged the IDPs to go home and defend themselves with stones
The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday, April 10, reportedly told the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), whose communities were destroyed in attacks by herdsmen, to go back home and defend themselves using stones.
The Punch reports that Ortom said he was tired of keeping IDPs in camps just as he explained that killings in the state had become one too many to such an extent that people were running from their homes.
The report said the governor, who visited the displaced persons attacked in Naka, Gwer West local government area of Benue state, said the killings were becoming uncontrollable and charged them to embrace self-defence.
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“David in the Bible used ordinary stone to defeat his enemy, it is now time for you to stay at home and use the stone in your homes to defend yourself instead of running away.
“I believe in the rule of law, equity and fairness, but I cannot continue to keep IDPs and l can’t afford to have another IDPs in Gwer West. This must stop. We must stop truncating the future of our younger generation.
“When we allow laws to be violated and nobody takes action, it then allows for impunity and when you give room to impunity, it will result to anarchy which will in turn breed a lawless society.
“Therefore, we the citizens must rise up to support the security agencies by way of providing lawful and necessary logistics such as information, equipment and financial support to back up their operations.
“Just yesterday (Monday), a soldier was killed in Guma, security agents are not spared. Security challenges are enormous. The gruesome murder of 24 people by Fulani herdsmen is quite condemnable.
“Time has come if you are willing to live in Benue State, you must be ready and willing to be law abiding,” he said, adding that the state government was working with traditional rulers and others to strengthen the vigilante team and give it full legal backing that would enable the group to assist the security personnel in curbing criminal activities in the state.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of Gwer West local government council, Francis Iyanga, said more than 22 persons were killed while seven others were injured during the attack on the communities.
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He added that in 2014, herdsmen applied chemicals on every water point in the area which killed hundreds of people and blocked the only road that linked the local government with the state capital for more than four months.
Iyanga said he had been able to identify some of the herdsmen with their phone numbers which have been submitted to security agents for necessary action, adding that several people in 10 council wards of the council area had been displaced. He called for the cooperation of the security personnel to enable the people to go back to their homes.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Governor Samuel Ortom had said he was willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people of the middle-belt state.
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