The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday, reiterated his call to people of the state to rise and defend themselves from external attacks, particularly by militia herdsmen. Ortom made the call at Adoka in the Otukpo Local Government Area of the state during an address at the funeral of Mama Enenu Ebute, the mother-in-law of the Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu.
The governor described Israel as the chosen heritage of God, saying it did not allow its people to be killed in such a manner without defence. He said, “Our people have had enough of these killings and they should rise to defend themselves against any external attack. We need to live.”
The governor urged patriotic Nigerians and men of good conscience to speak out against the ills in the country, pointing out that support and synergy with security agents was imperative in the fight against banditry, terrorism and other forms of criminality.
He lamented that hundreds of villages in Benue State had been sacked and thousands displaced by marauding herdsmen, noting that such portended danger for the state as the food basket of the nation.
Ortom admonished the people of the state to put politics aside and join hands with the government to fight for the survival and soul of Benue State, which he said was under siege. While expressing the belief that the deceased lived a worthy and fulfilled Christian life and would be enjoying eternity in heaven, the governor prayed God to console the bereaved family members, stressing that he was happy to be associated with the Abounu family.
In a homily, the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev Oche Job, said there is life hereafter and encouraged them to embrace Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. The wife of the governor, Mrs Eunice Ortom; the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Titus Uba; Senator Abba Moro; former Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani; and members of the Benue State Security and Executive Council attended the ceremony.