The House of Representatives has charged the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services to go after a shadowy group, Fulani Nationality Movement, which has claimed responsibility for the recent attack on the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.
The lawmakers, at the plenary on Tuesday, unanimously adopted a motion jointly moved by members of the House from Benue, who demanded an investigation of the attack and prosecution of the suspects.
Adopting the motion, The House “condemn the armed attack and assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State by unidentified gunmen on the 20th March, 2021,” while commending the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for his prompt response and immediately ordering an investigation into the attack.
The House “call on the Department of State Services and Nigeria Police to investigate claims of responsibility on the attack of Governor Samuel Ortom, as well as other threats and statements allegedly attributed to one Umar Amir Shehu and the Fulani National Movement (FUNAM).”
Also, the lawmakers urged “all Nigerians of good conscience and law-abiding citizens to keep faith in the indivisibility, unity and sovereignty of the nation.”
The motion, titled, ‘Armed Attack and Assassination Attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and the Worsening Spate of Insecurity in Nigeria,’ was sponsored by Messrs Kpam Jimin Sokpo, Benjamin Mzondu, Mark Gbillah, John Dyegh, Tyough Robert, Herman Hembe, Samson Okwu, Francis Agbo, Richard Gbande, Blessing Onuh and Godday Samuel.
There was an assassination attempt on Ortom on Saturday, with the governor saying suspected herdsmen numbering about 15 attacked him in his farm at Tyo-Mu community, near Makurdi, the state capital. He attributed the attack to his campaign against killer herdsmen, who had been attacking farmers in the state and other parts of the country.
FUNAM had said it carried out the attack on Ortom. The group disclosed that 11 of its members were involved in the assassination attempt on Ortom, noting that a technical error aided the governor’s escape, adding that he would not escape next time
In the motion, the Benue lawmakers said they were concerned about “the worsening spate of violent crimes and insecurity across the country ranging from cultism, armed robbery, armed herdsmen attacks, bandit attacks, armed militia attacks, Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism.”
The members noted that the media have been reporting FUNAM, which has through one Umar Amir Shehu, claimed responsibility for the attack on Ortom and justified its attempt on the life of the governor.
The lawmakers further said they were disturbed by the inflammatory statements attributed to the group.
The motion partly read, “The House takes cognisance of the response by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, in condemning the armed attack and assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom, and his subsequent directive for the Police to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the attack.
“The House acknowledges the directives of the Inspector General of Police (Mohammed Adamu) and immediate deployment of FCID to Benue State for a thorough investigation of the incident.
“The House is even more worried that the assassination attempt on Ortom of Benue State is an invitation to anarchy and glaring indication that the nation is drifting into a state of full-scale lawlessness.”