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Sunday, January 6, 2019

NEWS: TENSION IN BENUE, AS HERDSMEN ACCUSE ORTOM OF HEINOUS CRIME



The leader of Fulani in Benue State, Garus Gololo, on Saturday, alleged that the Benue State Livestock Guards killed 207 cows belonging to a Fulani man, Alhaji Ibrahim on the orders of the state governor, Samuel Ortom.

Gololo made the allegation while speaking with our correspondent in Makurdi. He alleged that the setting on fire of the rice farm owned by Governor Samuel Ortom was aimed at playing down the killing of the 207 cows and that the livestock guards, who killed the cows, acted on Ortom’s instructions.

                   

According to Gololo, the cows were killed at Kwatan Bala in the Makurdi Local Government Area, near the boundary between Benue and Nasarawa states on New Year’s Eve.

He said, “On December 31, Governor Ortom instructed members of the Livestock Guard and they went and killed 207 cows belonging to one Alhaji Ibrahim and the matter was reported to the police. It was the following day that the governor lied that herdsmen burnt his farm. Herdsmen cannot burn grasses now because the grasses are yet to dry.

“It is not true that herdsmen burnt his farm, it seems to me Ortom is looking for another means to instigate another crisis, the way he did it last year. But we are peacemakers and we are for peace, so we will not answer him. We reported the matter to the police, and up till now, they have not arrested those who killed the 207 cows, after police told us that they had launched an investigation into the matter.

“We have pictures of the cows killed and the uniforms they used and will report the matter to ICC (International Criminal Court) because Ortom is trying to cause confusion and therefore trying to send Fulani herdsmen away from the state, which is not proper because we are indigenes of Benue and citizens of Nigeria. Ortom alleged that Benue did not farm last year. How come he got 250 hectares of rice farm and alleged that herdsmen burnt his farm; so how did he get the rice farm?”

But the Chief Press Secretary to Ortom, Terver Akase, denied the allegations.

Akase said, “That statement is confirming that herdsmen actually burnt the governor’s farm. The law does not permit livestock guards to kill cows. Gololo is a liar from the pit of hell. He has lied because there is no issue of any dead cows because even those that were impounded (by the livestock guards task force) were later released and no deaths recorded.

“So, if he said the cows were dead, he is lying. There is no other incident of impounded cows that were killed. But that is the same propaganda that the man is known for. Remember the other time he said 1,000 cows were killed and the herder drowned himself in the river but there was nothing like that.”

Spokesman for the police in the state, Moses Yamu, said he was not aware of the killing of the cows.

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