Chris Steven, Abuja
As reactions continue to trail the recent killings of people in Benue as other arts of the country, Middle Belt Conscience Guard, a civil society group has stated that the stage governor, Samuel Ortom should be held responsible.
The group stated that Ortom should be tried for his carelessness and break down of law that necessitated to the recent gruesome murder of people in Guma and Logo LGAs of the State.
Prince Raymond Enero, the National Co-ordinator of the group noted that Ortom should be held responsible for the breakdown of law and order in his jurisdiction and must be additionally tried as an accessory to murder in all the killings that have followed the crisis instigated by him, once his tenure is over or once he does the needful by stepping aside.
The group said, “Our position remains that the Federal Government must declare a state of emergency in Benue as the crisis has now worsened to a point where an innocent Hausa/Fulani woman in Makurdi who was otherwise going about her legitimate business on the street of MAKURDI was killed this morning whilst many have been missing since Thursday.
“We are aware of the feeble response to our allegations put up on his behalf by one Tahav Agerzua, Special Adviser on Media and ICT. The response is lacking in acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility and is therefore unacceptable to Nigerians, whose lives are being upended by the chaos deliberately triggered by Ortom and his aides when they gave weapons to members of the Civilian JTF and Livestock Guards in violation of the Constitution.
“The response was hurriedly packaged in reaction to people who dare to ask about the role of the Governor on the arming of the Civilian JTF and took the ridiculous to a new level by trying to play on the collective intelligence of everyone. While it is a fact that all security agencies in Nigeria report to the President, as pointed out in Ortom’s response, we want to ask him if the states enjoying peace have a different President.
“In addition to what the world already knows about the bloodbath in Benue state and the state governor’s role in the tragedy, the origin of the issue is from Ortom’s Oracle Farm in Guma. The mass burial of victims was organized to sensationalize and cover up the truth that the killing was the result of Ortom’s armed groups wreaking havoc on herdsmen in Benue State until they were overpowered by the herdsmen. Guma and Logo are borders local government areas in Benue State where Ortom and one Honourable Dickson Tarkighr have their farms with well-armed groups that went on the offensive against herdsmen. No other part of Benue State was attacked and Ortom should tell the world if there are no herdsmen in those other communities.
“Ortom remains in denial of the fact that security is not all about guns and bullet as other key issues like good governance go a long way to ensuring harmonious living even among persons of diverse background. He is also being economical with the truth with such claim since there has been no evidence that he bothered to carry the state commands of the various security agencies along until things got to a boiling point.
“Men who have blood in their hands fear the course of justice, but even with the fear that has thrown him into panic, Ortom knows that he will surely pay for his sins at some point. His denials notwithstanding, the Middle Belt Conscience Guard is gathering evidence as the carnage in Benue state unfolds and would tender this when we drag Ortom before the International Criminal Court (ICC) since he thinks he can manipulate the judicial system in Nigeria. The Federal Government is of course urged to put Ortom on trial at the opportune time or Nigeria’s dirty linen would become the subject of public washing at the ICC.