The minority caucus in the House of Representatives has said it is alarmed by the brazen assassination attempt on the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, saying it was another daring attempt by the criminal elements to destabilise the state.
In a statement issued on Monday by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, the caucus insisted on full-scale investigation of the unfortunate incidence, with a view to bringing the assailants and their masterminds no matter how highly placed to justice.”
The statement was titled ‘Reps Minority Caucus Alarmed Over Assassination Attempt on Gov. Ortom…Masterminds must be Fished Out.’
There was an assassination attempt on Ortom on Saturday, with the governor saying suspected herdsmen numbering about 15 attacked him in his farm at Tyo-Mu community, near Makurdi, the state capital. He attributed the attack to his campaign against killer herdsmen, who had been attacking farmers in the state and other parts of the country.
A shadowy group, the Fulani Nationality Movement said it carried out the attack on Ortom. It said 11 of its members were involved in the assassination attempt on Ortom, noting that a technical error aided the governor’s escape, adding that he would not escape next time
In the statement on Monday, the House caucus called for proper investigation of the incident and prosecution of the attackers.
The statement partly read, “We are alarmed by this brazen attempt by outlaws to assassinate a democratically elected governor in our country. It is indeed disturbing that outlaws, bandits and terrorists have been so indulged that they now have the temerity to fire shots at, and attempt to assassinate a democratically elected governor.
“Moreover, our caucus is distressed by the disposition of certain state actors, whose actions, utterances and body language appear to embolden acts terrorism to the extent that criminal elements can summon the audacity to trail and attempt to assassinate a state governor.
“Furthermore, the attack on Governor Ortom has again brought to the fore, apprehensions of alleged lapses in our security architecture, particularly given that the attack came on the heels of his continuous distress call to the Federal Government to take decisive steps to guarantee the security of life and property in his state.
“As representatives of the people, our caucus charges the Inspector General of Police to widen investigation into the attack, fish out and bring the attackers to book, as our nation cannot, in any way, stomach such affront to our sovereignty.”
The lawmakers commended the security personnel attached to Ortom for their gallantry in repelling the attackers, while also charging the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to beef up security and intelligence gathering around the governor “at this critical time.”
The caucus, while expressing its support for Ortom and the people of Benue State, urged the governor not to be deterred by the attack but to remain courageous in discharging his duties to his people.