Six days after suspected herdsmen struck in six communities in Benue State, leaving about 50 persons dead, Governor Samuel Ortom, yesterday, announced that unclaimed bodies of about 49 victims of the massacre, kept in morgues across the state, would be given mass burial.
According to the governor, the authorities were taking the step because the bodies were already decomposing. The governor, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting, held at the Government House, Makurdi, said three days of mourning would be observed in the state ahead of the mass burial.
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, further said that the recent attacks on communities in his state made him to reconcile with former Governor Gabriel Suswam in his quest to finding solution to the issue.
He stated that he has also decided to withdraw from all political activities pending when the attacks on Benue by herdsmen were over and normalcy returned to every nook and cranny of the state.
According to him, for the first time after his election in 2015, he had to pick his phone and put calls across to Suswam and former Senate President David Mark to seek their inputs on how to solve the problem of herdsmen invasion.
‘’I saw this problem as a problem for all Benue sons and daughters beyond party lines, which is why l decided to put sentiment aside, reconciled with relevant stakeholders and sit with them to brainstorm with a view to find lasting solution”, he said.
‘’I cannot be a leader over dead people. 2019 is in God’s hand. This time, there is need for synergy, cooperation and unity among every Benue people across party lines. Therefore, I have reconcile with them, let them join me to push this fight away from Benue’’, governor Ortom said.
He appealed to all Benue sons and daughters to team up with his administration irrespective of their tribe, religion and political affiliation to bring to an end the incessant attacks on Benue communities and gruesome killings of Benue people by herdsmen.
Ortom stated that additional securitymen had been deployed to Benue even as the Deputy Inspector General of Police ((DIG) Habila Joshak had also arrived the state with a chopper for surveillance, adding that a special anti-terrorist force of the police whose operation would be beyond the shores of Benue would be arriving the state yesterday.