Buhari orders probe of Ortom attack as Fulani group claims responsibility

March 22, 2021

3 min readCategories: News

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered ”an open and transparent probe” of the assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue even as a Fulani group identified as Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM, claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday.

Buhari made the call Sunday night in his reaction to the attack that has shocked Nigerians.

Ortom said he was attacked by about 15 gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, in the outskirts of Makurdi, the Benue capital on Saturday.

Buhari strongly condemned the attack, said Garba Shehu, the SSA to the president on media.

Buhari said the string of brutal attacks on individuals and communities in the state, with the latest one targeting the governor, was unacceptable.

“The President welcomes the dispatch of a high level team of crack investigators to the state from the Police headquarters in Abuja”, Shehu said.

Buhari, he said, urged the officers to uncover who, or whatsoever, was behind the attacks and bring them to justice.

Meanwhile, FUNAM said it planned to kill Ortom on Saturday, but its plan suffered a setback due to a slight communication error.

A statement by one Umar Amir Shehu said Ortom stood against open grazing and Fulani interest in the country.

The statement entitled: “Why we attacked Ortom” reads: “Our attention has been drawn to media reports today speculating about who attacked the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

“Yes. Yes, We did. The Fulani Nationality Movement, (FUNAM) carried out the attack. We have genuine reasons. We acted on behalf of Millions of Fulani people in 15 countries.

“It’s a case of vengeance against an infidel who has used his time and money, deployed in destroying the Fulani values and inheritance.

“Our courageous fighters carried out this historic attack to send a great message to Ortum and his collaborators: Where ever you are, once you are against Fulani long term interest, we shall get you down. This is a clear warning. We hope those who take us for granted will get the indisputable message.

“Our intention is unequivocal: TO KILL HIM. That mission will one day be fulfilled and very soon too.”

“Eleven of FUNAM operatives were involved in the attack. Ortom escaped today because of a slight technical communication error. Next time, he will not be lucky. We can assure him and his supporters.”

In expressing his sympathies, and that of the government of the federation of Nigeria to Governor Ortom and all Benue indigenes, President Buhari said the unfortunate incident must not be politicized.

He reiterated that an attack on one Nigerian is an attack on all Nigerians.

The President directed the Police to undertake a thorough investigation into the incident involving the governor and into all such incidents affecting individuals and communities in the state.

“Let there be open and transparent investigation and whoever is linked to it should be caught and be made to face the law,” the President directed.

Starnews Nigeria reports that Saturday, herdsmen had attacked Ortom on his farm at Tyo-mu village, along Makurdi – Gboko road.

Reacting, the governor had alleged that linked the assassination attempt to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN.

The governor claimed that MACBAN had concluded plans to assassinate him over his position on open grazing.

Ortom alleged that the Myetti Allah took the decision to eliminate him during a meeting they organised recently in Yola.

He noted that his life is in the hands of the Supreme God and no Fulani man can kill him, said he received intelligence that the Association planned to kill his security aides and subsequently capture him alive.

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