NGF demands arrest, prosecution of Ortom’s attackers
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has demanded the arrest and prosecution of those allegedly behind the attack on Governor Samuel Ortom on Saturday.
Ortom was attacked by suspected herders on his way from his farm along Makurdi-Gboko road.
The NGF, in a statement by its chairman and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, empathised with Mr Ortom over the attack and demanded that the culprits be apprehended and prosecuted.
“The news of the broad daylight attempt to cut short the life of the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, is shocking and a rude awakening,” the statement said.
“All hands must be on deck to uncover the identities of those involved in this heinous crime.
“The NGF wishes to state categorically that the attempt to make Benue State ungovernable is unacceptable and will fail woefully.
“Only recently the brother of one of the former governors of the state was mowed down in cold blood.
“This dishonourable and shameful act of resorting to violence, for whatever reason, to eliminate citizens of Benue State by brutal means must not continue.”
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has called on security agencies to investigate the alleged attempt on the life of Mr Ortom.
The governors elected under the platform of the PDP made the call in a statement by its Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal on Sunday in Abuja.
Tambuwal urged the security agencies and other authorities of the state to swiftly and thoroughly investigate the matter of urgency as well as bring the perpetrators to justice.
He said that the PDP governors received with shock the alleged assassination attempt on their Benue colleague.
“We wish, therefore, to warn that any attempt to harm any Nigerian will be viewed by the forum as an attempt on all violence.
“We believe strongly that any dispute or perceived dispute should be and must be resolved amicably without resorting to violence,” he said.
Tambuwal condemned the attempt by certain retrogressive elements and centrifugal forces, trying to consign Nigeria into a failed state, saying Nigeria is not a Banana Republic.
The chairman of the forum, who said security remained the primary responsibility of the government, especially the federal government, added that every Nigerian deserved equal protection of the laws.
He said every citizen was entitled to freedom of speech and free exercise of all rights guaranteed in the constitution, subject only to law.
According to him, Nigeria is still a democracy and a nation of laws and not men.
He said that nobody, or group, however highly placed, should take the laws into their hands.
The Sokoto governor then stated that self-help was an invitation to anarchy and must be nipped into the bud.
“The PDP governors are solidly united and are behind Ortom and will do the utmost to defend the rights and prerogatives of the Benue people who elected him.
“We expect the security agencies and other authorities of state to investigate this matter swiftly and thoroughly and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Mr Tambuwal said.
On their part, the governors of the 19 northern states have called for thorough investigation into the attack on one of their colleagues.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, stated this in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, in Jos.
Lalong said the attack was another attempt by criminals to cause mayhem in Benue and in the nation as a whole.
He tasked all relevant security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation to fish out those behind the attack and their sponsors
He commended security details attached to the governor for repelling the attack and securing Ortom and members of his entourage.
The chairman of the forum said all hands must be on deck to address the lingering degeneration of security in the country as it threatened its corporate existence.
Lalong said governors in the northern part of Nigeria were in solidarity with their colleague and the entire people of Benue State.
He assured that they would continue to engage and support security agencies in their duty of securing the region and nation.(NAN)