The Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) has condemned the attack on the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom by over 15 gun-wielding herdsmen, while inspecting his farm near Makurdi on Saturday, March 20, 2021.
In a statement issued by the National President, Prof. Chuks Eboka and General Secretary, Pastor Philip Nwaegeruo, the body called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprits behind the criminal act.
It named the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) as prime suspects.
The NCGF alleged that the governor had been under threat by the body and its sponsors on account of the Governor’s relentless efforts to control open grazing and check the activities of criminally-minded Fulani herdsmen in the overall interest of the people of Benue State.
The Christian organization described the action of the gun men as ‘despicable and an affront on the Government and people of Benue State in whose land the miscreants made attempt on the life of their governor.’
‘The fellowship stated unequivocally that any harm done to the person of Governor Samuel Ortom will be unacceptable not only to the people of Benue State, but also to the Nigerian Christian community.’
The group, therefore, called on the ‘Federal Government and the security agencies to get to the root of the matter, stressing that such a vicious attack on a serving Governor portends grave danger to the nation’s unity and democracy.’
It described as ‘worrisome and callous the recent remarks by a serving state governor of Fulani extraction who threw his weight behind the possession of firearms by herdsmen,’ which, according to NCGF, obviously gave impetus to the herdsmen in their action against Governor Ortom.
While expressing gratitude to God for sparing the lives of the governor and his aides, the fellowship commended the gallantry of Governor Ortom’s security details, who shielded him and called for a beef-up of security around the governor.’
NCGF called on the ‘people of Benue State to rise up to the security challenge by putting in place internal arrangements to protect their governor and the citizens, as it will be foolhardy to rely solely on the Federal Government, whose competence is already questionable in view of the state of insecurity throughout the country.’
The group enjoined the Federal Government to wake up to its responsibility of securing the lives of the Nigerian people and wondered what would be the fate of the ordinary citizens, if a Governor could be so attacked in his domain.