Sequel to the attack on the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu had on Saturday ordered a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the attempt on the Governor’s convoy, on his way back from his farm at Makurdi, Benue state.
In a statement tagged ATTACK ON GOVERNOR ORTOM OF BENUE STATE: IGP ORDERS FULL-SCALE INVESTIGATIONS, Adamu had condemned the incident and also ordered the Commissioner of Police to strategize on measures to strengthen and improve security in the state.
Recall that Ortom’s Convoy was attacked on Saturday, March 20th, 2021 by unknown gunmen on his way from his farm.
As the level of insecurity in Nigeria worsens by the day, the attack has evoked different reactions from Nigerians, with many worried that if a sitting governor with an entourage could be attacked in broad daylight, what then is the faith of ordinary citizens?
Following the attack, President Muhammadu Buhari through his Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, yesterday condemned the attack on individuals and communities in the state and also ordered security agencies to uncover whoever was responsible and bring them to justice.
Buhari further sympathized with the governor and warned Nigerians to desist from politicizing the attack, reiterating that an attack on an individual is an attack on all Nigerians.
“Let there be an open and transparent investigation and whoever is linked to it should be caught and be made to face the law.”
However, an unknown Group, the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) has taken responsibility for the attack.
Reportedly, the group in an online platform had said in a statement signed by one Umar Aminu Shehu that the group masterminded the attack on behalf of millions of Fulanis in 15 countries.
“We have been brought to our attention by today’s media reports speculating on who attacked Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
“Yes. We did. The Fulani Nationality Movement, (FUNAM) carried out the attack. We have genuine reasons. We act on behalf of Millions of Fulani people in 15 countries.
“It is a case of revenge against an infidel who has used his time and money, deployed in the destruction of Fulani heritage and values.
“Our brave fighters carried out this historic attack to send a great message to Ortom and his collaborators: wherever it is, once it is against the long-term interests of the Fulani, we will take it down. This is a clear warning. We hope that those who take us for granted receive the indisputable message.
Our intention is unequivocal: KILL HIM. That mission will be fulfilled one day and very soon too.
“Eleven of the FUNAM operatives were involved in the attack. Orton escaped today due to a slight technical communication error. Next time you will be out of luck. We can assure him and his followers.
“Ortom has been leading the campaign against Fulani interests in the North. We have our operatives in all the southern states. Each one will face our sword soon.
“We warn collaborators working against Fulani people in Nigeria: WE WILL GET YOU regardless of your hiding place.
“We clearly state, any state or individual that opposes RUGA will be confronted. Any state or individual that opposes ranching, we will catch it. Speak out against livestock and RUGA even on the internet – our silent fighters will find you and fix you.
In the coming months, FUNAM will carry out attacks on strategic human and material assets of States and non-state groups or individuals known for their anti-Fulani campaigns.
We will chase them in their homes, in their workplaces, in their car, on their streets. It’s a matter of time.”
This statement has been widely criticized and discounted, as many opine that the faceless group was only seeking attention.
It is still unclear if the group does exist, but according to reports, FUNAM had in 2018 declared Fulanis the owners of Nigeria which the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar had disclaimed and in 2020, the group also claimed responsibility for the killing of 23 people in Plateau, Jos.