Governor of Benue State Samuel Ortom on Friday reaffirmed his call for residents of the state to rise up and defend themselves against external attacks, especially from militia herdsmen.
Ortom made the statement while speaking at the funeral of Mama Enenu Ebute, the mother-in-law of the state’s Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu, in Adoka, Otukpo Local Government Area.
The governor referred to Israel as God’s chosen people, stating that it would not allow its citizens to be slaughtered without defence.
He said, “Our people have had enough of these killings and they should rise to defend themselves against any external attack. We need to live.”
In the fight against banditry, insurgency, and other types of crime, the governor urged patriotic Nigerians and men of good conscience to speak out against the country’s ills, emphasizing the importance of support and collaboration with security agents.
He bemoaned the sacking of hundreds of villages and the displacement of thousands of people in Benue State by marauding herdsmen, warning that this posed a threat to the state’s position as the nation’s food basket.
Ortom admonished the people of the state to put politics aside and join hands with the government to fight for the survival and soul of Benue State, which he said was under siege.
While expressing the belief that the deceased lived a worthy and fulfilled Christian life and would be enjoying eternity in heaven, the governor prayed God to console the bereaved family members, stressing that he was happy to be associated with the Abounu family.
In a homily, the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev Oche Job, said there is life hereafter and encouraged them to embrace Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
The wife of the governor, Mrs. Eunice Ortom; the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Titus Uba; Senator Abba Moro; former Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani; and members of the Benue State Security and Executive Council attended the ceremony.