– Governor Ortom has called on the federal government to extend to bandits/armed herders the same treatment it metes out on the ESN
– The Benue state governor said it is an injustice to clampdown on a criminal group while another one is shielded
– Ortom also advised the government against giving amnesty to bandits as some have advised
Samuel Ortom, Benue state governor, has said it is injustice for the federal government to clampdown on the Eastern Security Network (ESN) while it ignores bandits carrying AK-47.
The governor in an interview with BBC News Pidgin said he does not support the ESN because it is an illegal group.
He, however, said that Nigeria’s security challenges would have been solved if the federal government treats armed Fulani herdsmen the same way it treats the ESN.
The ESN is the paramilitary wing of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Governor Ortom said the presidency should not shield any criminal group, alleging that there is a lack of justice, equity and fairness in the fight against insecurity.
He reiterated that if the government can clampdown on ESN, it should also deploy the military and other security agencies to bombard the armed bandits in their hideouts.
Ortom said it is surprising that some foreigners who called themselves Fulani herdsmen would come from Senegal, Mali, Cameroon to Nigeria and begin to kill innocent people anyhow.
He said such a thing can not happen even in small countries like Ghana and other African countries.
According to Governor Ortom, the kind of weapon some armed herders possess is more sophisticated than the ones in the possession of security agencies.
Speaking on the giving amnesty to bandits, the governor said bandits are not trustworthy.
He said even when they claim they have surrendered their arms, they still have some reserve that they fall back on to continue with their bad deeds
Governor Ortom said those who call for amnesty for bandits do not understand how the criminals operate.
In another report, Governor Ortom has issued a stern warning to herdsmen to respect the state’s relevant laws or go to Bauchi state if they are bent on carrying weapons such as AK-47 around.
Legit.ng notes that the Benue governor said this in response to a previous statement by the governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed, wherein he justified the use of weapons by herders.
The Benue governor said bandits cannot come to his state and stay in the forest under any guise, saying that they should go to Bauchi state.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_