Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Friday said that his country home has been sacked by Fulani mercenaries who also killed over 50 of his kinsmen after which they razed over 200 hectares of his rice farm.
“The mercenaries invaded my village, killed over 50 persons and destroying over 200 hectares of my rice farm. As I am sitting here, I have no ancestral home, they killed children, old men and women in my community.
“The mercenaries come to Benue not just to graze but to steal, kill and destroy the livelihood of the agrarian people after which they take possession of the land knowing fully well that all we have here are our farms.
“The truth is that these attacks have brought a major setback to the people, especially with our declining revenue from the federal allocation, which was about N7 billion before I assumed office but this month stood at N1.3 billion while our monthly wage bill stands at close to N4 billion,” Ortom said.
The governor stated this when the Progressive Governors’ Forum, led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, paid him a condolensce visit at Government House, Makurdi.
He lamented that even after President Buhari had directed that soldiers and mobile policemen should be deployed to the state, there had not been any reports of the arrest of people behind the heinous crime.
Ortom who advocated the ranching of cows in the country, recalled that Benue people had lived peacefully with Fulani herdsmen until four years ago when the crisis started stressing that the state had not known peace since then.