Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor has again lamented the gruesome murder of 23 persons in fresh attacks on two communities by the suspected Fulani herdsmen on Monday night.
Subsequently, the governor directed his people to rise up to defend themselves forthwith, a statement by Nathaniel Ikyur, Chief Press Secretary to the governor on Tuesday, said.
No fewer than 8 persons were mowed down on Monday night by suspected Fulani herdsmen who invaded Mbadwem in the Guma local government area and 15 in Tiortyu in the Tarka local government area of the state.
Scores of others were injured and are receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the state.
Ortom, who was reportedly visibly angry, said, “It is becoming increasingly glaring every day that my people are now an endangered species and so we can no longer wait for help from anywhere.
“My people will have to rise up to the occasion to defend themselves and their heritage against the Fulani army of occupation.”
“We are law-abiding citizens. We have cried for help against these invaders but nothing is forthcoming. We are left alone and it looks like it is a deliberate strategy. Now we have only one option; to defend ourselves or get extinct. This is a case for our survival.
“We have been accommodating of other people in our land but our hospitality is misconstrued as weakness. We are not a conquered people. We will never be. We are freeborn citizens of Nigeria,” the governor added.
Ortom nevertheless enjoined security operatives to do more in crime prevention and protection of lives and property in the state.
He also urged the people of the state to cooperate with security agencies to flush out the undesirable elements in the society.
The state government, he said, will not shy away from its commitment to provide welfare and security for the citizens.