Fulani group, Miyetti Allah has said supporters of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, not Fulani herdsmen, attempted to assassinate him.
Ortom had said herders attacked him on his farm near Tyo-mu, along Makurdi-Gboko Highway and he ran kilometers in effort to avoid being killed.
The governor who spoke after the attack linked the it to the state’s anti-open grazing policy, saying his government will not repeal a law adopted in 2018 against nomadic grazing because it has been popular amongst residents.
But in a statement by its National Secretary Alhassan Saleh, Miyetti Allah dismissed the governor’s claims, saying herders could not have attacked him.
“Herdsmen cannot attack him. There are even no herdsmen in Benue state because he has driven them away. He’s just behaving like a tout, and it’s unfortunate that such a person could become a governor,” the group said.
“He trivialises everything. The attack is political; they are killing themselves there. There are killers around him; everybody knows.”
The statement added, “If nemesis would catch up with him for his atrocities against herders, it’s the killers that he is breeding, not herders that will finish him. We don’t have any hands in his matter.”
However, another Fulani group, the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) had claimed responsibility for the attack, vowing to assassinate the governor.
A statement titled, ‘Why we attacked Ortom,’ issued by Umar Amir Shehu, FUNAM said it attacked Ortom on behalf of millions of Fulani in Africa, regretting that a break in communication saved him from being killed.
“Yes. Yes, we did. The Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) carried out the attack. We have genuine reasons. We acted on behalf of millions of Fulani people in 15 countries,” FUNAM said in the statement.
“It is a case of vengeance against an infidel who has used his time and money, deployed in destroying the Fulani values and inheritance.
“Our courageous fighters carried out this historic attack to send a great message to Ortom and his collaborators: Whereever you are, once you are against Fulani long-term interest, we shall get you down. This is a clear warning. We hope those who take us for granted will get the indisputable message.”
The group boasted that it would soon accomplish its task of killing Ortom and other governors in the southern part of Nigeria that was against Ruga.
“Our intention is unequivocal: TO KILL HIM. That mission will one day be fulfilled and very soon too,” the group said.
“Eleven of FUNAM operatives were involved in the attack. Ortom escaped today because of a slight technical communication error. Next time, he will not be lucky. We can assure him and his supporters
“Ortom has been leading the campaign against Fulani interests in the North. We have our operatives in all southern states. Each will face our sword soon.
“We warn collaborators working against Fulani people across Nigeria: WE SHALL GET YOU irrespective of your hidden place.
“We state clearly, any state or individual that opposes RUGA will be confronted. Any state or individual that opposes ranching, we shall get you. Speak against ranching and RUGA even on the internet: Our noiseless fighters shall find and fix you.
“In the next few months, FUNAM will carry out attacks on strategic human and material assets of states and non-state groups or individuals known for their anti-Fulani campaigns.
“We shall hunt you down in your houses, in your workplaces, in your cars, in your streets. It’s a matter of time.”