By Ajogwu Jerry
A sociocultural group, The Middle Belt Conscience Guard have lashed the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom over the death of seven Nigerians of Fulani ethnicity travelling from Taraba to Kogi state, who were murdered in cold blood and burnt beyond recognition.
In a statement signed by the Secretary General, Dr. Paul Itodo, the group alleged the gruesome killers acted on the instruction of the State Governor.
The statement read in part:
“It is most unfortunate that Governor Ortom has not realize the imperative of treating all ethnic nationalities under jurisdiction equally because of his biased mindset. The world is now aware that he did not only arm militias but also instigated the crisis in Benue state from the first attack launched by his militias to this recent barbarism by his kinsmen on innocent travelers going about their legitimate business.
“The fact that Governor Ortom rushed to the murder scene for on-the-spot assessment does not in any way lessen his culpability in issuing the original instruction that has rendered Benue state into the death basket of the nation. His presence on the crime scene rather suggests evidences tampering and acting to compromise investigation into the latest killings under his watch. The curfew he imposed in the wake of the attack was also discovered to be a strategy for preventing other threatened ethnic nationalities from escaping the state where the governor has signed their death sentences.
“Governor Ortom’s recalcitrant disposition towards demands that he demobilizes his militias and call an end to the incessant killings in the state clearly confirms that he has lost the moral right to remain in office and preside over the affairs of the state. It is a matter of time before the unfolding ethnic cleansing and genocide in the state reaches an intractable proportion by which point it may be too late for the entire Nigeria to withstand the fallouts.
“The Middle Belt Conscience Guard therefore demand that Governor Samuel Ortom immediately resigns his position in the overall interest of Nigerians. The barbaric acts being directed by him in Benue state conflict with the provisions of the constitution on all counts and his continued stay in office.
“We urge the good people of Benue State and the ruling All Progressives Congress to do the needful to ease Govenror Ortom out office as his continued stay would necessitate the activation of the relevant international instruments that would hold all those that who have been indifferent accountable for the hellish situation unfolding in Benue state”. It concluded.