By George Okoh
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has again called on the federal government to grant licence to Nigerians to own guns and protect themselves from criminal groups in the country
The governor made the call yesterday at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, when he received members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Makurdi branch, who were on a solidarity visit over the recent assassination of their member by suspected herdsmen.
He reeled out recent killings in the state, including the killing of a lawyer and his wife; an Agro Ranger who was allegedly murdered by herdsmen in a forest and his decomposing body discovered 10 days later, and the killing of a university professor among others.
Ortom said: “In Adaka community in Makurdi Local Government Area, herdsmen went after an Agro Ranger, and when they could not find him, they killed his wife while another one had his father killed. How long shall we continued to be killed and the federal government remains silent?”
He added that if guns were licenced, the people can defend themselves against criminals carrying dangerous weapons.
According to the governor, “The federal government should stop pretending. How can you proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), whose members have not killed anyone, and labeled them terrorist group, but fail to proscribe Fulani herdsmen, who kill people with sophisticated weapons?
He said the federal government can end the insecurity in the country if it wants, but added that it is not prepared to do so.“We want definite action from the federal government. This government is a complete failure on security and economy, and I have facts to justify my claim,” the governor claimed.
Ortom added that a day of reckoning would come for those who have refused to take action, advising Nigerian citizens to learn to defend themselves against criminals.
Earlier, the Makurdi branch of the NBA had vowed to drag the federal government to court for it failure to protect the lives of Nigerians.
The state Chairman of the association, Justin Gbajir, who disclosed in the wake of the brutal murder of Moses Udam and his pregnant wife, maintained that the Nigerian Government has failed woefully to protect lives and property of its citizens as enshrined in section 24 sub (2) of the Nigeria Constitution.
Gbajir stated that he wanted the federal government to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the country as well as sack all the Service Chiefs.
The NBA members also called on the government to declare Fulani herdsmen a terrorist group while also establishing a Victim Support Commission with Victim Support Funds as well as setting up a North Central Development Commission.
“NBA will on December 21, 2020, boycott court activities. We urge the federal government to always obey the rule of law and the extant laws, as anything short of this is unacceptable,” Gbajir said.