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Fulani Militia ‘Ready To Kill’ Claims Attack On Governor Ortom


A militia group identified as the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) has claimed responsibility for the alleged attempt to assassinate Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Saturday.

The group said its reason for attacking Ortom was genuine and that it “acted on behalf of millions of Fulani people in 15 countries”.

In a statement signed by one Umar Amir Shehu on Monday, the group said iy intended to “kill” Ortom, but that the governor escaped as a result of “slight technical communication error” on the part of its members.

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to media reports today speculating about who attacked the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

“Yes. Yes, We did. The Fulani Nationality Movement, ( FUNAM) carried out the attack. We have genuine reasons. We acted on behalf of Millions of Fulani people in 15 countries.

“It’s a case of vengeance against an infidel who has used his time and money, deployed in destroying the Fulani values and inheritance.

“Our courageous fighters carried out this historic attack to send a great message to Ortom and his collaborators: Wherever you are, once you are against Fulani long term interest, we shall get you down. This is a clear warning. We hope those who take us for granted will get the indisputable message.

“Our intention is unequivocal: TO KILL HIM. That mission will one day be fulfilled and very soon too,”

“Eleven of FUNAM operatives were involved in the attack. Orton escaped today because of a slight technical communication error. Next time, he will not be lucky. We can assure him and his supporters.

“Ortom has been leading the campaign against Fulani interests in the North. We have our operatives in all Southern States. Each will face our sword soon.

“We warn collaborators working against Fulani people across Nigeria: WE SHALL GET YOU irrespective of your hidden place.

“We state clearly, any state or individual that opposes RUGA will be confronted. Any State or individual that opposes ranching, we shall get you. Speak against ranching and RUGA even on the internet: Our Noiseless fighters shall find and fix you.

“In the next few months, FUNAM will carry out attacks on strategic human and material assets of States and Non-State groups or individuals known for their anti-Fulani campaigns.

“We shall hunt you down in your houses, in your workplaces, in your car, in your streets. It’s a matter of time.”

But reacting, Governor Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, wondered why relevant security agencies were yet to apprehend members of the group.

“A group has come out to claim responsibility of the attack on the governor of Benue state, and up till this minute, more than 24 hours after, no one is asking questions,” Akase said during an appearance on Arise TV on Monday morning.

“This isn’t the first time that this group has spoken out; remember the January, 2018 attacks on Benue state which claimed 73 lives; this same group came out less than one month after and said the attacks on Benue were justified. And that until Benue falls they will not stop attacking the state.

“Again, this group has come out again to say they want to kill the governor. And our security agencies with all the intelligence at their disposal, we expect that the man who signed that statement exist in this country. We expect that that man should be in detention somewhere. He and his group should be asked questions. If governor Ortom is not safe, then who is safe, we are absolutely disappointed,” he said.

The governor’s aide also denied claims that the state government was profiling the Fulani as criminals.

“Why are the forest not being combed by our security agencies. When we say this, we are not profiling the Fulani as a race, we are concerned about the armed ones. Those who live in the forest with AK47.

‘’It is quite unfortunate that a man who is the chief security officer of the state, the number one person in Benue state would be attacked in this manner, what happens to the rest of the citizenry in Benue state, who do not have security around them,’’ he said.

Recall that Ortoms’s convoy reportedly came under gunfire on March 20 around Tyo-mu, along Makurdi-Gboko Highway, while the governor was returning from his farm.

The governor had accused the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) of sponsoring the attack.

Narrating his experience, Ortom had said: “You know today is Saturday and is normal as a farmer, I usually go to my farm, so I went to my farm along Gboko road. And on our way back, we started hearing some gunshots and we discovered people who were dressed in black, and from experience, we now discovered that these are Fulani militias and I do not want to take things for granted because few days ago, the media were awash with statement from MACBAN who met in Yola, the same place they met in 2016 where they decided that they will take Nigeria and that every other person is a slave; that was when they started infiltrating the entire country.

“They came out to target me and behind the scene they are planning to eliminate me on my own land. If I can’t go to the farm as governor, with the entire security around me, then who else can go to farm? You can imagine the pains that we have here in Benue State.

“I appreciate the security personnel attached to me; they were able to repel them and they could not have access to me,” he stated.

ovu: Tuesday, 23 March 2021 at 3/23/2021 12:02:00 pm


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