Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has spoken about the attack on his convoy along Tyomu community in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State.
As reported by Daily Trust, some unknown gunmen opened fire on Ortom’s convoy along the Makurdi–Gboko highway around 11am on Saturday.
Eyewitness account confirmed that there was a heavy gunfire between the attackers and the governor’s security operatives.
One of the locals in the area reported, “I didn’t know what happened, but I heard terrible gunshots. There were also sounds of speeding vehicles and by the time I inquired; I was told the governor was ambushed by gunmen.”
Speaking with newsmen in Makurdi, the State capital, Ortom blamed the incident on herdsmen whom he said had threatened to capture him alive prior to this time.
The governor further explained that said he was returning from his farm situated on Gboko road when some gun welding men dressed in black stormed out of bushes and started shooting sporadically at his convoy.
“They shot at us, but my security men were able to repel them, and we escaped unhurt. Nobody in my convoy was injured. From what I saw, they were more than 15 who came after us. They could be more than that,” he narrated.
Nevertheless, Gov. Ortom alleged that it was not the first time, the suspected herders have tried to kill him, noting that intelligence report available to him indicated that a group of herders in their general meeting held in Yola, Adamawa State, recently singled him out for elimination on grounds that he is working against them.
He added, “I heard I was targeted for elimination. This is not the first time. I heard intelligence report before now that they will kill my security men and capture me alive, then they will be killing me gradually. But, they have failed, they are not God and can’t kill me.
“They made attempt today (Saturday) but my security men repelled them, and they could not take me. I’m not going to subject myself to any intimidation whatsoever. I don’t have problem with Fulani as a race, but I have problem with Fulani who are bandits. My people and I will not be slave to them.”