From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
The Benue State Government yesterday suspended two 3rd Class Chiefs from Katsina-Ala, Chief Tivlumun Ubugh, Mue Ter Chongo and Chief Ayoleve Ornguga, Mue Ter Ipusu as well as the District Head of Mbacher, Chief Luke Atomigba over their roles in the prolonged crisis between Shitile and Ikyurav.
The suspension of the chiefs followed recommendation of the Benue State Security Council after its emergency meeting in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
Governor Samuel Ortom read the Council’s resolutions during a meeting with stakeholders from the local government area also held at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.
He stated that the traditional rulers had neglected their duties and exhibited nonchalance towards efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.
The Governor noted that the traditional rulers had instead, resorted to fuelling the crisis based on vested interests, thereby contravening the code of conduct enshrined in the Local Government and Chieftaincy Law of the State.
The affected traditional rulers are to face a panel to be constituted by the Tor Tiv to investigate them and determine appropriate sanctions.
According to the Governor, the Council also directed that all the District Heads from the area who declined invitation to attend a security meeting with Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa would be queried to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them.
He said Council also warned the Tor Sankera to be a father to all his subjects and eschew sentiments and personal interest, pointing out that he should work with all his subjects to ensure peace in his domain.
Governor Ortom said security agencies were directed by Council to go after criminal elements responsible for the unrest in the area and also arrest and prosecute any politician found culpable in the violence.
The Governor urged the people of Katsina-Ala to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation and report suspicious elements to security operatives for prompt action, adding that the President had already given marching orders to security agencies to tackle banditry in the country.
It should be noted that the Katsina-Ala axis have been overran by criminal elements who have been terrorizing the people resulting in several assassinations and the death of over 12 persons at a funeral last week.