Ortom, Ishaku indicted by Human Rights report on Fulani killings
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The Coalition on Conflict Resolution and Human Rights in Nigeria at the weekend released a complete review of incidents of farmers/herders crisis in Nigeria, saying that the crises for escalated because the governors of Benue and Taraba states, Samuel Ortom and Darius Ishaku, were playing politics with people’s lives.
The group however lauded what it described as the neutral conduct of the Nigerian Army as patriotic and professional.
Inside the report, a copy which was made available to Nigerian Concord, both Ortom and Ishaku were said to be using armed militias and warlords to escalate the crisis unabated.
The report as released by Barrister Maxwell Gowon, leader of the coalition, maintained that the Fulani killings both in Benue and Taraba states got out of hands because both states governors failed to take appropriate actions to maintain peace in their respective domains.
Specifically, Benue governor, Samuel Ortom, according to the report, has been exploiting the people of the state and as well deriving both political and financial benefits rather than take steps to mitigate the crises.
However, the report said the outcome of the review revealed that since its deployment to address the crisis, the military has made commendable efforts at restoring order as it has arrested and neutralized some of the criminal elements unleashing mayhem on affected communities.
The report also said that the Benue state militias had been armed by the governor and some highly placed individuals, stressing that efforts by the Nigerian Army to mop up these arms from them have not received the needed cooperation from the state government who has been using them for political reasons.
According to the report, the crises between herdsmen and Farmers in Benue state were instigated by the governor and other persons without stakes on either side of the divide between herders and farmers.
The report also revealed that some criminal elements and their sponsors within the Benue state government who failed in their ambition of using the military for personal reasons were those lying that the military troops were conniving with criminals.
Finally, the report also warned that some powerful men within the governments of Benue and Taraba states have taken undue advantages of the situation to further their ethnic interest above the national interest which citizens should pursue, urging such persons to retrace their steps if not be ready to face the appropriate international instruments.