Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, on Monday, January 8, 2018, dismissed reports that he hired mercenaries from Ghana to fight Fulani herdsmen attacking people of the state.
He made the denial while noting that only Miyetti Allah, the umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria, could have done that.Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Ortom said “I’m not aware of this hiring of mercenaries from Ghana and I don’t even know about that one I’m hearing it for the first time. If someone has done that it must be this Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, that have done it.”
The governor also expressed his readiness to do everything possible to protect people of his state from the invading herdsmen.
Ortom further denied claims that he was being prevented from seeing President Muhammadu Buhari over the situation in his state.
He said, “The truth is that I have access to Mr. President anytime I want to speak with him on phone, and to see him personally.
“I requested that I wanted to speak with him on phone that day because I couldn’t come to Abuja and he gave me the opportunity; I did, and today I am here and I have seen him.
“Anything that can stop the killing of my people, I will go for it, I will support it.
“Any policy or any directive, anything that will help stop the killing of these innocent people who are not armed will go because this cannot continue.
“You know that continuity of this will create greater challenges for us and I don’t want it to continue.
“We are struggling with economic issues; we are struggling with political issues we are struggling with several other issues in this country, security issues and all that.
“Benue state should not be part of this. There is no need for it.
“The law of prohibition of open grazing and establishment of ranching was made out of the necessity to ensure that we have peace for herdsmen and farmers.
“And that is what we have done. The law seeks to protect all.’’
Recall that the governor had earlier stated that the killing perpetrated by herdsmen in the State became worse due to “threat without action.”