<<< By Jimin Geoffrey >>>
The Benue State Security Council has declared Tuesday, May 22 as work free day in honour of the two catholic priests and 17 worshipers recently killed in Mbalom, Gwer East local government area of the state.
Governor Ortom announced this today during a condolence visit on the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, the Most Reverend Wilfred Anagbe at the Bishops House, Makurdi shortly after a state security council meeting.
The Governor described the death of the two priests and other worshippers as unfortunate, stressing that the clergy who were supposed to console and encourage bereaved families when such calamities occur had fallen victim of the barbaric attacks.
He said the security council was in grief as a result of the incidence but prayed that God would visit both the church and the entire Benue people to wipe their tears.
The Governor acknowledged the support of the church to bereaved families following the attacks through provision of food and other items as well as provision of health and educational services to displaced persons.
He reiterated his call for the arrest and prosecution of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore over the group’s threats and attacks on Benue communities.
Responding, Bishop Anagbe appreciated Governor Ortom and the Security Council for the condolence visit, saying what had befallen the state was preventable if relevant authorities had taken the concerns and alerts raised by Benue people regarding the threats of attacks by Miyetti Allah.
He said the agenda of the invaders was the islamization of Nigeria, stressing however that God would bring a lasting solution to the security challenges confronting the state.
Bishop Anagbe said the church remained prayerful for Governor Ortom to continue to be firm and focused in the face of unprovoked attacks.
Governor Samuel Ortom who was accompanied on the condolence visit by the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Terkimbi Ikyange, the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Anthony Ijohor, SAN among other top government functionaries and security chiefs also presented a condolence letter to the Bishop.