Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has debunked claims that his government runs a militia group. He spoke on Thursday in Makurdi, when the Benue Youth Prayer Group and National Union of Road Transport Workers, Benue State chapter paid him a condolence visit over recent killings. The governor described the rumour as a way of diverting attention from the actual problem. Ortom said, “the rumour is the handiwork of mischief makers who want to divert the attention of people from the killings.” He insisted that Benue does not need any militia to tackle the incessant attacks on innocent indigenes, “because the Lord God Almighty will help them to defeat their enemies”.
He recalled that if he had wanted to keep a militia group, he would not have disarmed those that were in possession of illegal arms in the first place. The governor urged his people not to lose faith and hope but hold unto God, adding that they would be victorious at the end. Leader of the prayer group, Pastor Joshua Ikyernum, said their visit was to identify with the governor over the recent killings of no fewer than 73 persons in the state by some yet to be identified gunmen. Ikyernum said the group was against the genocide that was presently going on in the state, adding that the perpetrators would surely not go unpunished.