Why I ordered armed herdsmen out of Benue – Gov. Ortom

Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday said he ordered all armed herdsmen out of Benue State because they engaged in killing citizens with provocation. 

He said it was his duty as a governor to take the decision in order to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens of the state. 

Mr. Ortom spoke with State House correspondents shortly after he came out of a meeting of the National Economic Council NEC, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He however, said unarmed herdsmen and those who do not engage in violence also need protection. 

Mr. Ortom had on Monday given Fulani herdsmen in Tombo-Mbalagh, Buruku Local Government Area of the state, a two-day ultimatum to leave the area.

He gave the order in Tombo-Mbalagh during a visit to ascertain the damage allegedly inflicted on the community by herdsmen over the weekend. 

 “I ordered armed herdsmen out of my state. They are not friendly to my people. They are killing them and I cannot tolerate that,” the governor said.

“My job as the governor is to provide security for lives and property. I cannot watch seeing people being killed unprovoked. It is not right.”

Mr. Ortom said the only thing citizens of the state are engaged in is farming. He however, said “when you go to their farmlands and destroy their crops and then when they complain, you kill them. That will never be acceptable. I will not fold my hands to watch this happen.”

He said his order is for security men to arrest all arms-bearing herdsmen. 

He also recalled that an amnesty programme he launched earlier enabled him to “disarm the criminal elements in my society because I believe in the rule of law and due process.

“Without the rule of law, there is no way we can govern. A stronger person will come and take over the affairs of the state from where ever you are. And so, we must abide by the rule of law,” he said. 

Mr. Ortom said apart from fighting corruption, governments at all levels must be ready to fight impunity as well. 

He said impunity was worse than corruption.

“Another thing is impunity, it is worse than corruption. So, while we are fighting corruption, we must also fight impunity. This is not right.

“Those armed herdsmen, are they above the law? So, the security men must track, arrest and prosecute them according to the law.

“I have told my people that as farmers, they have no business carrying arms. And so, I will protect them as long as I am governor is my state,” he said.


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  • emmanuel

    All herdsmen out of Benue for three months while all parties are called to the table for discussion and reconciliation. Within the period, Butchers go outside the state to buy their cows (only Benue indegenes for now). Transportation subsidised by the State Government.
    Poultry products and Fish consumption encouraged and Council collection from traders in both are stopped henceforth. At the end of three months, put up Fayose’s kind of Acts banning grazing and renew the ban for another three months. Issue franchise to two or three Benue indigenes for Ranches on a PPP basis and you are secured.
    Nigeria MUST put the senseless killings behind or we go a full blown war!

  • Frank Bassey

    Gov. Ortom is weak and clueless. The herdsmen are going nowhere. Watch it.

  • Dgreatest

    He is ordering armed herdsmen out of Benue and at the same time gave an order for security men to arrest all arms-bearing herdsmen.
    What is his actual position.

    Why not totally outlaw grazing by herdsmen in the state. Even if there will be pain of beef scarcity, is it not better than the loss of life of his people. What value do these governors put on human life .

    They all know what to do to stop the killings by herdsmen, seems they are not just concerned, or some are just playing politics.

  • Senator D

    Was Fayose right afterall?

    • emmanuel

      Fayose is a great Son of Nigeria. I respect him anytime and he comes out on point.
      I also praise the woman behind him. They are a team that work both spiritual and intellectually to give meaning to leadership. Madam i greet you, God bless you for being a pillar.
      Ortom should forget about Second term and save his people. He seem not to understand the enormity of the troubles ahead in Benue, because very soon it will be negotiating Benue as the host to total strangers to leave peacefully at the terms of the strangers; who willfully kill the host

      • Karl Imom

        I have said it over and over that, the constant Fulani killings in Benue State is bound to render Ortom a one-term governor if he continues to be oblivious to the danger he is exposing Benue People to. He seems to be clueless as to the duties and tasks of a state governor.

  • ojays

    We have weaklings as governors, they are afraid of PMB, forgetting this is federal system of government so the president cannot do much to them.
    This is why we must go the whole length to entrench fiscal policy whereby non will go cap in hand to Abuja to beg for what is rightly theirs.
    If a state or a region is truly autonomous they will have their security system, educational, agrarian,economic and political systems whereby the state or region becomes viable and can handle the security breeches – herdsmen menace, kidnapping, corruption, drug dealing etc.
    Here we are in Nigeria most states are not viable using whatever parameters. But they gladly steal from the viable ones to organize mass wedding, to line the pocket of govt officials leaving the populace to Almajiri on the streets.
    Unfortunately the people who are hardworking are so afraid of the leeches and bcos of their belly always put them in govt house in Abuja.
    Solution to all is dissolution of what has refused to fuse together.

    • Arabanko

      Where are you living? Join restructure Nigeria today..

  • AlBsure23

    Good morning governor Ortom.

  • George

    Fayosi is the only man standing.

    Buhari is evil

  • T-Rex

    Hmmmmmmmm,his eyes are opening.

  • AryLoyds

    With Buhrai a fulani man in power, the killings will continue in Benue , as the aim is to steal land and conquer the indigenous people.

    • Kallah Bature

      This is exactly what people like you will like others to believe. Blame game before proper investigation. How are very intelligent Governor like Ortom will easily fall for such contraption without digging for enough facts and waiting for in depth investigation beats my imagination.

      • AryLoyds

        Teacher please tell us why? The governor conceded land to Fulani yet this wasn’t enough to stop the jihad. The Fulani killings breed a circle of hate that will be inherited one day.

    • Karl Imom

      This has nothing to do with Buhari – a Fulani man who happens to be President of Nigeria. The Land Use Act clearly stipulates that, the land in the state is entrusted to the Governor of the State for the people. That means it is the state governor that has control of the land in the state. The state governor in conjunction with the state legislature have the power to pass laws to ban animals grazing activities in the state. Some states have already passed such laws. Why are they NOT passing such laws in Benue State? Buhari has nothing to do with the inability of the Benue State Governor to protect his own people.

      • AryLoyds

        So would you also willingly blame el rufai for not stopping the killings in southern kaduna?

        • Karl Imom

          For animal grazing-related killings – Yes

  • John.

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  • ubuntu1

    Who will disarm the Fulani Militia if the Governor has disarmed the Indegenes? Is it the Fulani controlled police or Army? This man is speaking from both sides of his mouth. If by now he has not seen enough, it is not this last one that will move him. He is a liar.

  • efada acha

    so they kill in Buruku they should leave your state but if they kill in Agatu you cede land to them and give mike inalegwu 30million naira. good the live and properties of Agatu people are not as important as those in Buruku.thank you.