<<< By Terna Injua, Harvest FM, Makurdi >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today condoled the Catholic Church and the people of the state over the killing of priests and worshippers at a church service as well as other parts of the state.
He spoke with newsmen at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on arrival after cutting short his leave to return to the state.
The Governor said the killing of people who have made sacrifices of their lives to preach peace and love of mankind was unwarranted and unacceptable.
He called on the people of the state to be prepared to defend themselves and their land because the state was under siege and that they have no other place to run to.
Governor Ortom appealed to the people of the state to support the security agencies to surmount the challenges, noting that it was clear that they have been overwhelmed.
He expressed appreciation to the President for condemning the killings and urged him to direct the arrest of the perpetrators of what he described as an ongoing pogrom as well as leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for sponsoring the ongoing killings in the state.
Governor Ortom called on the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal Government to change the way of doing things in the country by ensuring that the killings in all parts of the nation are stopped.
Reacting to accusations that he disarmed Benue citizens through an amnesty programme so as to to make them vulnerable to the ongoing attacks, Governor Ortom said the programme targeted criminals who do not have the interest of the community at heart but were using weapons they possessed illegally to carryout criminal activities.
He said if he had not received and destroyed the weapons they surrendered criminality in the state would have exceeded the present level.
He vowed that no amount of killings would make the state review the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law because it was the product of the entire people and that ranching was the only solution to the incessant farmers and herders crisis.