Arrest Miyetti Allah Kautal – Ortom tells President
– Governor Samuel Ortom alleges that Miyetti Allah Kautal made inciting statements against Benue people and carried out their threats
– He says members of the group should be arrested because they are not above the law
– President Buhari calls for restraint as he meets Ortom, stakeholders
Governor Samuel Ortom has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately arrest the Miyetti Allah Kautal for their alleged role in killings which occurred in Benue state.
Ortom made the call on Monday, January 15, when speaking with journalists after leaders from Benue state met with the president behind closed doors in Abuja.
The governor demanded that the Miyetti Allah Kautal be arrested because they are not above the law, The Nation reports.
He alleged that the group made inciting statements against Benue people and carried out their threats.
Ortom said…”But beyond that we made strong appeal to Mr. President to arrest those people that perpetrated this act, the Miyetti Allah Kautal, because they are not above the law. They made inciting statements against our people and they came and perpetrated this act.
“And until this time I speak to you, they are still issuing out threats and it is not about just anti-grazing law, it is occupation because the manner with which they come and attack the man and take over the land it is something. I am not sure willing to join issues with anyone. We are law abiding citizens, we are not going to let our people go out of control.”
Earlier, the governor said calm was gradually returning to Benue state after the attacks.
He stated that President Buhari had responded swiftly to the crisis by ordering the relocation of the inspector general of police to the state in addition to sending additional troops from the military.
“As you can see I’m here with the entire leadership of Benue State, members of the National Assembly, the Tor Tiv, Ochi Idoma and the leadership of Benue State House of Assembly and other very distinguished sons and daughters of Benue state,” the governor stated.
“You are aware of the challenge we had since the 1st of January up to this moment. Several people were killed, more than 60,000 people displaced and we are still counting.
“We thought it was wise as the father of the land and as the President of our country there is need to meet with him to interface with him.
“At a personal level, I spoke to the President on phone on the 1st of January when his incident occurred and he responded promptly. And I followed it up with a visit, he directed the location of IGP to Benue State in addition to sending additional troops from the military.
“So the situation as at today is relatively calm although there are pockets of issues. For the past five days we have witnessed two killings compared to what was happening before. Other places are relatively calm, the security men and the IGP and the Benue State government had been working day and night to ensure that we bring the situation under control and stop the killings.
“There are still security issues from one town to the other like some few days ago we had an uproar in Makurdi local government, headquarters of Benue State where some hoodlums wanted to take advantage. That is one of the things we have discovered in trying to create confusion so that they can go in there and loot.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the government and people of Benue state to exercise restraint following the recent attacks on some communities, as he assured that all the perpetrators of violence would face justice.
President Buhari said this on Monday, January 15, when he received a delegation of political leaders, traditional rulers and elders of the state led by Governor Samuel Ortom at the Presidential Villa.
A statement by Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesperson, quoted Buhari as saying all those involved in the conflict that culminated in loss of lives would not escape justice, including any illegally armed militia in the state.
The president commiserated with all the victims of the attacks, and the families who lost loved ones and properties, noting that the government would make efforts to ameliorate the situation of all the victims.
The president said he had directed relevant agencies to start catering for the humanitarian needs.