Niger State Governor and Chairman North Central Governors Forum (NCGF), Abubakar Sani Bello has decried the attempted assassination of his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, and called for a thorough investigation by relevant security agents.
Bello, in a statement on Monday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, described the dimension of insecurity in the country as dangerous, adding that something urgent and drastic must be done collectively to curtail the situation which he said is a threat to the nation’s corporate coexistence.
“This issue of insecurity in our nation needs all and sundry to be collectively responsible in addressing it irrespective of religious, ethnic, and political affiliations”, he said.
The NCGF, who applauded the efforts of the security details Ortom at ensuring his safety and other members of his entourage, said the Forum is in solidarity with Ortom and the entire people of Benue State.
He enjoined the security agents not to relent in their efforts to secure lives and property.
It can be recalled that unknown gunmen attacked the Benue State Governor on Saturday on his way from his farm along the Makurdi-Gboko highway.
Ortom attributed the attack to his campaign against killer herdsmen, who had been attacking farmers in the state and other parts of the country.
Ortom while briefing journalists at the Benue Peoples House after the incident said he was inspecting his farm when the militia herders, who were dressed in black, ambushed him and his security men and opened fire.
He also alleged that MACBAN met in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, recently and came up with an agenda to eliminate him.
“I was alarmed for singling me out as the only person who is creating a problem for the entire Fulani race and behind the scenes; I also heard that in the meeting, I was targeted for elimination. This was the information I got that they will go after me either in my home, farm or wherever they get me,” the Governor had alleged in a statement after the attack.
Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has distanced itself from the assassination attempt on Governor Ortom by gunmen on Saturday.
According to the Association’s Secretary-General, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma who spoke to PUNCH on Monday said that MACBAN is not a criminal association.
“First, we have to condemn the attack. Then, secondly, if there was an attack, that must be a criminal activity which must be directed to the security agencies for proper investigation,” Baba-Ngelzerma said.