Benue Killings
Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom

The bloodbath in Benue compelled Governor Samuel Ortom to cut short his annual leave and summon an emergency meeting of stakeholders from the area.

Concise News reports that at the end of the meeting, which had in attendance former Governor, Gabriel Suswam, former and serving federal and state lawmakers, among others, Ortom attributes the crisis to acts of criminality and negligence on the part of those entrusted with responsibilities in the troubled communities.

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He says, “On Thursday, I held a meeting with stakeholders from that area that lasted about eight hours where everyone spoke frankly on the matter and all the root causes of the conflict were made known.

“It was obvious that some persons entrusted with responsibilities were failing in their duties and government will not hesitate to wield the big stick to mete out sanctions but, beyond that, what we see happening in Katsina/Ala is pure criminality.

“Regrettably, all efforts in the past to have the matter resolved were resisted by the people themselves but, today, they have resolved to end it with government’s intervention because, as we speak, no activity, both social and economic, is going on there.

“I have met with security chiefs and I must appreciate the personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, for their decisive efforts to end the conflict.

“After our meeting, we resolved to take action to stop the kidnappings, robberies and killings and restore peace in the area.”

According to the governor, the timely intervention of the OPWS personnel and the police, which had restored relative peace in the area, also led to the recovery of high calibre firearms from bandits.

“I will not surrender my government to criminals. We will continue to liaise with security agencies to ensure peace in the state which is paramount to the government and people of Benue”, he adds.

On his part, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, His Majesty, Prof. James Ayatse, assures that the Tiv Traditional Council would collaborate with political leaders to ensure an end to the crisis.

“The political leaders have taken the initiative and also declared a stand to put an end to the crisis and, on our part, we will give them all the necessary support to ensure that peace returned to Katsina/Ala,” the royal father says.