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Benue killings: Ortom reveals why no Fulani herdsman has been arrested

Written By Idoma Television on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 | 10:32:00 PM

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has explained why the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who he said was behind the New Year attacks is yet to be arrested.

The governor speaking on Tuesday with Channels TV said the process was ongoing to ensure the arrest of the Miyatti allah leaders as the government has documentary evidence against them.
According to him, he can't exactly pinpoint the difficulty encountered by security agencies in ensuring their arrest.

On whether the government has reached out to the president on the Miyetti Allah, Ortom said: "Of course, that is what I am saying. I have spoken to him that those are the people I know and I have documentary evidence against them.

"I repeated my calls for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who are the perpetrators of this. These are known people. These people gave this threat right from the day we signed this (anti-grazing) bill into law – on 22 of May 2017. And when they did a press conference in Abuja in June, I immediately petitioned against them that these people should be arrested by the security agencies.

"They continued this threat when I had even given a grace period for the commencement of this law on November 1, 2017. They continued with their threat and I further reminded the security agencies that there was the need to arrest these people.

"Unfortunately, the process, as I am told, is ongoing, but no arrest was made until we saw this unfortunate thing that befell us on the first of January and instead of celebrating, we went into mourning. It is unfortunate, and I think things need to be done because impunity should not be allowed to thrive in Nigeria.

"I am told that arresting (people) is a process. So, that is ongoing. That is what I have been told, but there is need to arrest these people because if we allow them to go scot-free, it will not serve this country good. Like I always say, if you allow impunity to thrive, you are asking for anarchy.

"It is wrong. I am a law-abiding governor and all I have been trying to let my people know is that for development to come to Benue, we must be law abiding. Let the people know that we do things in an orderly manner, we don’t just do things anyhow. When I came in (as governor) I disarmed the youths who were armed. Today, relatively, we were peaceful until this unfortunate incident happened.

"Benue State was putting itself together. It is difficult to say (what makes the arrest difficult) since I am not a security agent and I am not a professional in that area, but I am told it is a process that will continue. I think that I have done the needful, the people of Benue have done the needful and what is needed is intelligence gathering to security agencies. This we have done."

Ortom further refuted report by the Inspector general of Police, Ibrahim Idris that Benue attacks was as a result of communal clash.

"I want to believe that the IG was misquoted on describing attacks as communal clash because he can’t say that.

"He is aware that the police in Benue are already prosecuting some violators of this (anti-grazing) law and even those who were arrested after the 1st of January mayhem on our people… even today, two people who were arrested as a result of these killings were arraigned," Ortom added‎.


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