Fulani/Tiv Crisis: Three Killed In Benue

Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen in his office in Makurdi.

On how suspected Fulani herdsmen stormed Tse Akaa village, Ugondo Mbanar District of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State Sunday afternoon, leading to the killing of three persons.

The report gathered from our reliable source was said that trouble started Sunday afternoon when the villagers challenged the herdsmen who were moving their cattle away from the area.

Sources said the development raised fear among the villagers who thought that the herdsmen’s movement was an attempt to reinforce and attack the village.

It was gathered that the herders resisted the villagers, and the incident snowballed into a serious fighting.

An eyewitness who identified himself as Terver said the herdsmen, without provocation, launched the attack on the villagers around 5pm at the time some of the villagers were coming out from Sunday evening service.

He, however, denied that the villagers’ action triggered the crisis, saying, some of the villagers were coming out of evening service when the herders began to shoot sporadically at them, and in the process, three persons died.

Terver added that several persons were injured and many others missing.

He said that many people were presently taking refuge at a nearby village.

The source alleged that the attackers came from the Taraba axis, through Abaji, Mbamar, Ugondo and emerged at Akaa, shooting sporadically at the village market square.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Yamu, who confirmed the report said the suspected Fulani herdsmen who were relocating from the area as a result of the onset of the rainy season had a clash with the villagers.

“Three persons were killed in the process, but the Police immediately mobilised to the area and I can assure you that peace has been restored there.”

Governor Ortom, who confirmed the incident, enjoined both farmers and herders to always show patience.

Samuel Ortom, Terrorism In Benue State And Other Matters, By Michael Apeh

The seemingly extra ambitious governor of Benue State, His Excellency Samuel Ortom may be gold in the eyes of many, but let us remember the ever correct and tested statement; ‘not all that glitters is gold’.

Terrorism, foreign trips and absenteeism from important meetings regarding issues staring the state in its face is the style of governance adopted by the governor.

If we can remember, the notorious king of the forest, popularly known as ‘Gana’, was kept far away from Benue State in the previous administration of Suswam, only to surface from the forests of Taraba/Cameroon when he was invited by power thirsty political animals to deliver their party, APC, in the April 2015 elections.

Senator George Akume and Barnabas Gemade contracted Gana with the promise of a seat in the House of Assembly, which would be reserved for one of Gana’s several wives. Fair enough deal if you ask me, but was the promise kept? NO.

To compensate the now angry, wild and dreaded Gana, The new governor of Benue State handed Gana the cash cow of the state – Agriculture. Gana collected revenues of N30,000,000.00 monthly from Agric produce and remitted about N10,000,000.00 to the State. Everyone was happy until things went south. Now his Excellency Governor Ortom wants Gana dead.

You may wonder why the romance between the governor and Gana went sour, but the reasons are not far-fetched.

After heavily empowering Gana with office of the special assistant to the governor on security and giving him two pickup loads of security men to guard him day and night, His Excellency has suddenly realized that Gana knows too much of his various shady deals.

Let us also critically look at the issue of amnesty in Benue State.

For the purpose of curiosity, one would wonder if His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom can let everyone know how much this whole Amnesty sham cost the State.

You ask people/militants to surrender their arms with the promise of a better future, which is yet to be redeemed after so many months. Can we then ask what happened to the funds allocated for this course?

Where are the recovered arms?

His Excellency picked out Gana, empowered him with so much money to buy new sophisticated arms, and left the other militants hanging.

Now in a desperate bid to silence him, a rival group from Abaji was commissioned and paid heavily, which led to the killing of 12 out of 13 men who were in a meeting strategizing on how to get Gana. Till date, we are yet to find out who carried out those killings, but the answers seem to lie in the hands of Governor Ortom and Tewase (Gana).

In two years, so many of the governor’s cronies have been arraigned and charged with murder cases, for example, the special adviser on special duties, Joe Kyaagba, who served three months in jail and was bailed by His Excellency and is still standing trial.

Another sad issue I want my people to look at is Ortom and the award of contracts in Benue State. In a country where corruption is the order of the day and sincerity meant only for fools, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the number one man of a state awards himself contracts meant for the good of the citizens, but then again for how long do we intend to continue like this?

We would expect that with the current song of change filling our airwaves, the governor of Benue State will at least lead by example. But No, the reverse is the case.

In July 2015, His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom awarded a contract of N540,000,000.00 to Oracle Business Limited for the supply of 30 units of Toyota Prado SUVs for the government house.

Can we ask who owns Oracle Business Limited? Can it be the same company His Excellency set up with N2,000,000.00 a couple of years back?

Not stopping there, the insatiable governor went ahead to award a N4.7 Billion road contract to M/S Tongyi new international construction company Limited, a company supposedly owned by his private secretary, Mr. Stephen Amase.

The payments made to Mr. Amase’s company were done without the payment of the mandatory 10 percent handling charge.

It may interest you to know that this same company was registered in August 2015 with Ruth Amase, Dooshima, Sedoo, Tavershima, and Wuese Amase as its directors.

We also gathered that all printers in Benue State have refused to pay tax to the state government for the lack of patronage, no thanks to Oracle Business Limited, which gets all the printing jobs and more.

On a final note, let us remember that those who the gods want to punish, they first make mad.

Michael Apeh wrote this piece from Makurdi, Benue State.

Herdsman Killing In Benue State, 6 Feared Dead

Npayango Federal Highway, Benue youths on Thursday were in protest over the reported attack and killing in Tse Igba Uke and Aliade villages in Gwer Local Government Area of the state by suspected herdsmen on Wednesday night.

The youths killed six persons during the protest, leaving travellers stranded along the highway, which is a major route to the southern part of the country.

The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP. Joel Moses confirmed that six persons were killed by the youths, adding that the command had to use “minimum force to disperse the protesters.”

He said, “The youths barricaded the Npanyango Road and also killed six motorists who they suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, so we had to deploy our men who used minimum force to disperse them.”

Moses could not give the number of suspects arrested in connection with the disturbance, saying policemen were still at the scene of the crime.

He said the suspected herdsmen carried out the attack on Wednesday night, following an attack on their cattle by some youths of the village.

According to him, the corpse of the villager killed by suspected herdsmen had been deposited at the Aliade General Hospital and the injured receiving treatment in the same hospital.

The police spokesman, however, warned against jungle justice.


Source: Punch

Mystery Man Pays N42m Tithe To Benue Church

A man whose identity has been shielded by a local church in Makurdi, has shocked church members with a tithe offering of N42 million.

Investigations in Makurdi revealed that the money was paid into the UBA account of the NKST Church High Level  Makurdi.

Although the pastor of the church, Dr. Frederick Ikyaan, initially denied knowledge of the offering, a copy of the church’s quarterly financial report, covering the months of January – March, confirmed the payment of N42million tithe to the church.

The report showed that the lodgement was the highest single offering from an individual for the quarter.

The money was paid into the church’s account in January.

The breakdown of the church’s financial report showed an income of N56.2 million and an expenditure of N33.7 million within the same time frame.

The church’s records also showed that out of the income, N44.6 million was generated from tithe offerings while a single person accounted for N42 million.

Reacting to the financial report, the pastor said his initial denial was based on the allegations that the donor was an appointee of the Benue government.

” I still stand by my words that the person that gave us that money is not an appointee of the state government. In fact, he does not even stay in Benue but is an indigence of the state.”

He said there was nothing wrong with the offering and insisted that the church had nothing to hide.

Meanwhile, the tithe offering has stirred controversy in a state struggling to pay the salaries of workers.

Public discussion centered on  the legitimacy of the donors income, as a man who pays N42m to a church as tithe must have made an income of N420 million in the month that he paid.

The NKST Church is an abbreviation for ‘Non go Kristu  U Sudan hen Tiv’, meaning the Church of Christ Amongst the Tiv

Herdsmen Attack In Benue State, 15 Feared Dead

About 15 persons have been reportedly killed in fresh crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Turan communities in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.

Report says that 2 bodies has been recovered from the incident so far, from the affected communities.

However, the renewed crisis has led to the disappearance of many persons, while several houses, huts and farmlands have also been razed in the besieged communities. According to a local in one of the affected communities, the crisis erupted early Sunday morning when suspected armed herdsmen invaded Ikyoawen, where four persons were reportedly killed and houses razed.

The local said: “After that attack, they moved into Nzaav and Alaba in Yaav council ward, where over 11 persons were hacked to death and several houses burnt down by the herdsmen.

“Though the affected communities have been deserted, we are still searching in the bushes for many missing persons, including women and children.

“We also realised that the attackers have occupied the sacked communities without resistance. As we speak, several of the houses are still on fire.”

Reacting, the National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Alhaji Garus Gololo, said he was not aware of the presence of herdsmen in the affected communities. According to Gololo,

“if anything is happening there, it would certainly be the handiwork of criminal elements, who are bent on frustrating the efforts of the government to ensure peaceful co-existence in the state.” When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attack noted that two deaths were recorded. Yamu said:

“We heard that Alaba and Mande Ordue communities in Yaav council ward of Kwande council were under attack by suspected herdsmen.

“Mobile policemen have been deployed to the area as two persons, including 65-year-old Keemo Anumen and 46-year-old Tervershima Dado, have so far been confirmed dead and their corpses deposited at the NKST morgue in Jato Aka.”



Source: Naij

Benue Gov. Blames Herdsmen For Non Payment of Salaries/Pension

The Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom,  has blamed fulani herdsmen for the non pay of salaries, pension and arrears of workers in the state, he said the attack has cost them a lost of  N95 billion between 2012 and 2014.

Ortoms, while addressing stakeholder at a meeting at the Benue’s People House on Tuesday, said the attack has taken a toll on the agricultural sector, which is the states strongest point.

He claimed that the constant attacks by herdsmen have cost the state a whooping  N95 billion in the last 4 years

The Governor declared a special 7 days fasting and prayer.

“We have no land for grazing and grazing routes; we cannot join grazing and farming. This has made the payment of salaries and pension, amounting to N7.8 billion a big headache for us,” he said.

The governor noted that with the ever-increasing population, ranching remained the best alternative, adding that the anti-grazing bill, sent to the House of Assembly, would be subjected to public hearing.

Benue: Gunmen Attack Leaves 31 Dead

The yam market in Zaki Ibiam town, Ukum Local Government of Benue state was attacked yesterday by unknown gunmen, leaving 31 residents dead.

Reports say that most of the people killed were traders and businessmen.

According to an eyewitness account, the attack started around 2p.m., adding that “the gunmen stormed the yam market on about 12 Bajaj motorcycles and four Toyota Corolla cars and started shooting at anyone in sight.”

Several cars and a fuel station were also razed as pandemonium engulfed the area.

The state commissioner of police, Bashir Makama, when contacted said that they were aware of the situation but still haven’t ascertained the number of causalities.

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom, as the killings were going on, was giving a run down of the security situation in state and measures taken by his  government  to bring an end to  the invasion and attacks by herdsmen on innocent people of the state.

Makama also urged the youths to remain patient and not resort to violence, as they would not relent on their duties.


Soldiers Sack Agatu Villages, kill Pregnant Woman And Five others

Soldiers have sacked six villages in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, killing six persons, including a pregnant woman.

This followed the killing of a soldier at the weekend by some youths in the area.

But the Brigade Commander of the 707 Special Force, Brig. Clement Apere, denied that soldiers attacked the people.

“The operation we conducted in the area was carried out in a professional way,” he said.

However, sources from Agatu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday, explained that six villages — Olegadakolo, Ikpele, Otugologwu, Iwali, Okpanchenyi and Egba — were sacked by the soldiers.

At Egba community, sources said a pregnant woman was hit by a stray bullet, adding that the six villages had been deserted.

“This is genocide on our people, as I’m talking to you now, six villages have been sacked, children and women have moved out of the affected villages, while many people have been arrested by the invading soldiers,” a resident of one of the villages, who pleaded anonymity said.

The council’s sole administrator, Mr. Mike Inalegwu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, also denied the killing of people in Agatu communities but admitted the invasion of military personnel.

“There is no iota of truth in that, no one was killed, the military were only on the mission to recover their arms and ammunition,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference, the commander, 707 Special Forces Brigade, Brig. Gen. Clement Apere,  said only one person was arrested.

Credit: Punch news