The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has accused the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari of favouring armed herdsmen despite numerous cases of insecurity caused by the group of predominantly Fulani pastoralists.
Ortom, who spoke in Makurdi on Wednesday, called on the FG to arrest the leaders Miyetti Allah for constantly instigating killings by herders.
He said, “The federal government and the presidency must act fast because we are running out of time. From North West, North East, North Central, South East, South West and South-South, there is general insecurity and this is being propelled by armed herdsmen.
“Not until these people are arrested we will not know peace. When I talked I was castigated and vilified. But the reality is here. It is not only in Benue state today, but it is happening to the entire country. I want to repeat again, I have made a petition to the presidency and to all security agencies before that if they want peace in Nigeria the leadership of Miyetti Allah must be arrested.
“These are people who have owned up. They have taken responsibility that they have killed, maimed, raped and also carried out all sorts of atrocities yet their leadership is in Abuja and nobody is confronting them. Why is the federal government silent about this Fulani people? When will the Federal Government come out to criticize and arrest herdsmen carrying AK47?
“Are we second class citizens in this country? What makes a Fulani man superior to other citizens of this country? We are not their slaves.
“And so the Federal Government must act fast. At a point in time, the Federal Government came out with a policy through the police that even those with licenced guns should surrender them to the police. My question is, how many times have the presidency come out to condemn Fulani herders that carry AK47 all over the place?
“The Federal Government is biased and unfair. The failure of our security is caused by the Federal Government. They asked for the arrest of a Yoruba activist (Sunday Igboho) who stood up for his people but nobody is arresting the killer herdsmen. You outlawed IPOB for doing nothing but armed herders rated the fourth deadliest terrorist group by global terrorist index is enjoying the protection of the Federal Government. That is not justice.
“In fact the Federal Government comes out to defend them when you have issues with them but when they unleash mayhem on the people the Federal Government keeps quiet. I heard of the statement issued by the presidency when the governor of Ondo issued an ultimatum to herders. In fact the presidency came out swiftly to issue a statement but when armed herders kill our people in Benue and other parts of the country we never hear that kind of swift reaction. It is unacceptable.”