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BENUE: Why we want to kill Ortom – Fulani group

A SHADOWY group, claiming to be protecting Fulani interest, has claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.

In a statement issued today, the group stated categorically that its aim was to kill the governor, also warning Ortom not to celebrate or thank his lucky stars yet as it would ultimately get him, adding that his sin is standing against Fulani interest.

“Our courageous fighters carried out this historic attack to send a great message to Ortom and his collaborators,” the group claimed in a statement signed by one Umar Amir Shehu.

“Where ever you are, once you are against Fulani long term interest, we shall get you down.

“This is a clear warning. We hope those who take us for granted will get the indisputable message.

“Our intention is unequivocal: TO KILL HIM. That mission will one day be fulfilled and very soon too”.

Apart from threatening Ortom, the group also sent weird warning to southern states, saying its assailants are coming for them too.

“We warn collaborators working against Fulani people across Nigeria: WE SHALL GET YOU irrespective of your hidden place.

“We state clearly, any state or individual that opposes RUGA will be confronted. Any State or individial(Sic) that opposes ranching, we shall get you. Speak against ranching and RUGA even on the internet: Our Noiseless fighters shall find and fix you.

“In the next few 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 shall hunt you down in your houses, in your work places, in your car, in your streets. It’s a matter of time.”

Whether FUNAM exists in reality, could not be ascertained. Whether it is a Fifth Columnist Group is also not clear.

In 2018, the group had triggered some furore in Nigeria, when it claimed the Fulani are the owners of the Nigerian territory from Sokoto to the Atlantic.

Sultan Abubakar of Sokoto, the spiritual head of the Fulani, doubted the authenticity of the group and disowned its statement as reckless.

The group has made several incendiary statements thereafter, without any consequence.

In February 2020, the group in a statement by its president Badu Salisu Ahmadu claimed a special Fulani strike force was responsible for the killing of 23 people in Plateau in late January of the year.

Fulani group claims Plateau killings, pledges ‘triple measure’ for one attack

Governor Ortom recently had an altercation with his counterpart from Bauchi State, Muhammad Bala over the latter’s position that Fulani herdsmen are free to carry AK-47 rifles and other weapons to protect their lives and livelihoods from marauding cattle rustlers.

Ortom, in the course of their altercation, had said Mohammed’s stance was unbecoming of a government.

He also questioned the constitutionality of Mohammed’s stance.

The altercation degenerated into name calling as Ortom called his counterpart from Bauchi, “terrorist governor”

Mohammed who had earlier claimed to use everything within his power to support the Fulani later backtracked and said his stance on Ak-47 was just a figurative allusion.

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