Governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Al-Makura, has accused Samuel Ortom, his Benue state counterpart, of making “inflammatory” remarks regarding the killings in Benue.
Al-Makura described as “most unfortunate” Ortom’s claim that the herdsmen that attacked Benue in the last one week, are camped in Tango in Awe local government of Nasarawa.
Ortom had said the suspected militia “are in Tonga.”
“That is where these people are camped and coming to attack people”, he said.
But reacting on Tuesday, Al-Makura said “there is nothing like that whatsoever”.
“I’m really taken back, this statement is most unfortunate,” he said.
Al-Makura added: “If anything, the Tonga that the governor is talking about in Awe local government is now the safe haven for displaced persons. As I speak with you today, there are more than three IDP camps in Awe local government that quarters and caters for the number of people that have migrated from Benue to Nasarawa.
“To be specific, they are more than 7,000 people that are camped in Tonga. So, it is very ironical that a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for IDPs can now be called militias camp.
“In that case, the militia don’t need to go as far as Benue they have the prey within the vicinity of Tonga to attack. I think this is most unfortunate. With efforts we as a state are making and supporting the governor to find ways and means of solving this problem, that Nasarawa state can be identified as an area where some of these militants are coming from is unfortunate.”
Al-Makura also said it is sad that Ortom “never” approached him to call his attention to the issue.
“Yesterday (Monday) we held over seven hours of rigorous interfacing with seven governors, service chiefs and some ministers and all our security operatives within the states and around Benue, and my colleague (Ortom) could not tell me this, he could not approach me and give me an idea if there is anything that he saw or worried about.
“Besides, from all the discussions we have had yesterday, there was no concrete security report identifying any part of Nasarawa state as habouring people that are coming to attack Benue.
“I feel what should be of concern to us as leaders is the plight of the people and any of such statement that is inflammatory is likely going to cause more confusion to what is already there,” he added.
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