Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, declared on Thursday, February 2, that he would use every last drop of blood to stop herdsmen from invading his country and killing his people.
In response to a statement made by a northern group allegedly led by the former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, Ortom made this statement during a press conference at the Government House in Makurdi.
The governor, who cleared himself and his administration of responsibility for the airstrike that left a number of people dead in a settlement in Nasarawa State’s Doma Local Government Area, claimed that the alleged statement made by the former emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, was an effort to paint the governor as a Fulani-hater.
Ortom alleged that since his administration enacted the law prohibiting open grazing in 2017, he had been a target of the Fulani militias, adding that he had escaped seven attempts on his life.
The governor said the Fulani invasion of the state assumed a dangerous dimension in 2011, adding that over 6,000 people had been killed and over two million people had been displaced.
“The new plot is to eliminate me. I have given myself as a sacrifice for my people, who gave me their mandate in 2015 and 2019. I will continue to expose all the evil intentions.
“I am ready to shed the last pint of my blood not to allow the Fulanis to take over Tiv land, Idoma land, and Igede land,” he said.
Ortom claimed that 18 out of the 23 local government areas of the state were under siege and added that Fulani herders had attacked the state over 50 times since 2011.
While exonerating himself from the air strike in Nasarawa State, Ortom said, “I must state categorically that the Benue State Government under my leadership has no hand in the Akwanaja incident. Linking me with the bomb attack in Doma, Nasarawa State is the most unfair thing anyone would do to me.”