Militia herdsmen do not have a place in Benue, Ortom insists
By George Okoh
Unknown gunmen suspected to be hired killers last Tuesday assassinated a Makurdi-based legal practitioner, Mr. Moses Udam; his wife and one other unidentified blind man living close to their apartment in Benue State.
The victim was reportedly shot dead and butchered together with his wife at their residence located behind a modern market in Makurdi, the state capital, around 11p.m. last Tuesday.
It was gathered that the gunmen killed the victim and his wife, made away with his mobile phones and other valuable items before proceeding to kill the blind man and injured one other person.
A source, who claimed to have witnessed the incident, but pleaded anonymity, said the hired assassins numbering eight, allegedly trailed the lawyer and broke into the house in search of vital documents in connection with a disturbing case being handled by the late legal practitioner.
The source further stated that the armed men also forced their way into another residence where they rob the occupant of his N200,000 before they fled.
According to him, “It was when they left that we heard screams for help, and also alerted the troops of OPWS.
“The troops, who got alerted, immediately moved to the scene to stabilise the situation, while the police later arrived at the scene.
“From what we gathered before Udam’s demise, it seems he was handling some sensitive cases, and might have been killed to silence him.”
When contacted, the OPWS Commander, General Yekini, said his troops are in the area, but declined further comment.
“We have stabilised the area, as everywhere is now calm. However, you can get further details from the Defence Headquarters Media Operations on the incident,” Yekini stated.
Meanwhile the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, has insisted that Benue State under his watch will not succumb to attacks by terrorists, whether they are jihadists or militia herders, whose sole target is to occupy the state and destroy lives and property.
The governor made his position known while addressing journalists when he visited the scene of herders’ attack in Agboughul community of Makurdi Local Government Area, where three people were killed and three others injured last night.
He stated that the pattern of the attack and killings barely four days after a similar incident took place at Tse-Angbande was unfortunate, “and bore the handwriting of mindless jihadists who had set out to overrun the state.”
Ortom noted that the series of attacks were a grand plan to whittle down operations of Livestock Guards and Agro Rangers who are doing very well in containing attacks on communities and enforcing the ranching law of the state.
The governor lamented that developed climes globally with higher number of cattle compared to Nigeria have no cases of conflicts between herders and farmers due to ranching, which is also being practiced in Benue State, stressing that he would continue to speak against impunity in the