By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday asked the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Police to investigate claims of responsibility on the attack on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, as well as other threats and statements allegedly attributed to one Umar Amir Shehu and the Fulani National Movement (FUNAM).
The house equally condemned the armed attack and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt response and for immediately ordering an investigation into the attack.
The House resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance co-sponsored by all the eleven Benue members in the House
It urged all Nigerians of good conscience and law-abiding citizens to keep faith in the indivisibility, unity and sovereignty of the nation.
The motion sponorsed by Hon. Kpam Jimin Sokpo, Hon. Benjamin Mzondu, Hon. Mark Gbillah, Hon. John Dyegh, Hon. Tyough Robert, Hon. Herman Hembe, Hon. Samson Okwu, Hon. Francis Otta Agbo, Hon. Richard Gbande, Hon. Blessing Onuh and Hon. Godday Odagboyi Samuel.
Presenting the motion, Hon. Kpam Jimin Sokpo expressed concerns about the worsening spate of violent crimes and insecurity across the country ranging from cultism, armed robbery, armed herdsmen attacks, armed bandit attacks, armed militia attacks, Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism.
Sokpo said he was worried that on Saturday, 20th March, 2021, some gunmen suspected to be killer herders, ambushed and opened gunfire on the convoy of the Governor of Benue state, His Excellency, Gov. Samuel Ortom at Tyo-Mu Community, a distance of less than 20 kilometers from Makurdi, the state capital;
“Further worried that the armed attackers, numbering over 15 wielded sophisticated weapons and dressed in black, had trailed the governor from the farm but were repelled by the security detail attached to the governor, who had 4 to run for over 1 kilometer to safety.
“Disturbed that since the attack, several media (particularly, The News, Daily Post, Premium Times and Vanguard Newspapers of 22nd March 2021 have been awash with reports that a group identified as Fulani National Movement (FUNAM) has through one Umar Amir Shehu claimed responsibility for the dastardly attack, and reportedly justified its attempt on the life of the Benue state governor;
“Further disturbed about the inflammatory statements attributed to this group, who have publicly declared “their unequivocal intention and mission to kill the governor, his collaborators and whoever is against the Fulani long term interest as a case of vengeance against an infidel” who in their own words, “has used his time and resources, and deployed same in destroying the values and inheritance of the Fulani.
“Takes cognisance of the response by the President and Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari in condemning the armed attack and assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom and his subsequent directive for the Police to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the attack”
The lawmaker acknowledged the directives of the Inspector General of Police and immediate deployment of FCID to Benue state for a thorough investigation of the incidence.
He said “Even more worried that the assassination attempt on Ortom of Benue state is an invitation to anarchy and glaring indication that the nation is drifting into a state of full-scale lawlessness; Desirous to re-enforce its statutory role of ensuring the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government”
The house also condemned the armed attack and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt response and for immediately ordering an investigation into the attack.