Troops have taken over the forest where Benue State Governor’s convoy was attacked as Otom visit Buhari over attack

The Nigerian troop have taken over the forest close to where Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom’s convoy was attacked on Saturday.

Makeshift tents used as hideouts by armed men have already been ablaze by the troops have intensified surveillance of the forest.

The Nation newspaper reports that troops were drawn from Operation Whirl Stroke, a military operation covering Benue, Taraba and Nassarawa states.

Recalled that armed herders had on Saturday opened fire on Ortom who was on inspection of his farm at Tyo-mu along the Makurdi-Gboko Road.

Operation Commander, Major – Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, who made this known to reporters on Tuesday, also disclosed that some suspects had been arrested in connection with the attack. He was however quick to add that the arrest should not be highlighted for now since investigations were still ongoing.

Yekini conducted reporters round the scene of the attack in company with Ortom’s Special Adviser on Security, Col. Paul Hemba (rtd).

Yekini said: “When we got information on the attack, we immediately went into action and cleared the forest near where the governor came under attack. We also set some of their makeshift tents ablaze and as we speak our troops are still in the forest.

“We have secured the area and it is safe as there are no more herdsmen or bandits. So don’t judge our operation in Benue with the attack on the governor. “

Attributing the continued killings by bandits in Sankera axis , especially Katsina Ala, to lack of information available to security agencies, he called on the people to assist troops on the movements of criminals.

Similarly, four days after he narrowly escaped an armed attack, Governor Samuel Ortom on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja over the incident that caused ripples across the country.

Shortly after the closed door meeting Ortom told reporters at the Presidential Villa that they shared ideas on how to manage the security situation in the country.

He appealed for the moderation of comments on the attack since, according to him, Nigeria is already sitting on a gunpowder keg.

Buhari had on Sunday ordered security agencies to carry out what he called an “open and transparent” investigation into the attack. He also advised that the incident should not be politicised.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), political parties, and groups had also on Sunday described as shocking, the attempt to cut short the life of the governor.

A group, the Fulani Nationalistic Movement claimed responsibility for the attack.

Narrating his ordeal again after the meeting with Buhari, Ortom added that the President agreed with him that no person or group should be treated as a sacred cow.

According to him, the suspected herdsmen trailed his convoy to a riverbank where he was on foot with his security details and opened fire on them.

He called on Nigerians, especially politicians, to leave anxiety about the 2023 elections for now and pay attention to the insecurity in the country.

The governor said: ”I want to let Nigerians know, especially those who are responsible for making inflammatory statements; we’re sitting on a keg of gunpowder, everybody’s not in doubt in Nigeria today about the security situation and without security, there can be no meaningful progress going on.

“It is therefore important for us all to put heads together and dothe lawful thingsl. Let us protect the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so that everybody will be secure.

“Let there be equity, fairness, and justice. These are what I stand for. I believe that as my Presidendo do, not things talk about the recommendations. I have been able to recommend some measures, and most of them agreed that nobody should be a sacred cow.

“If people are found wanting, they should be prosecuted. And I think this is what is good.”

Ortom also dismissed insinuations that the attack on him was stage-managed. He expressed sadness over such thoughts.

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