Middle Belt leaders meet, say attack on Ortom ‘declaration of war’

Leaders from the various parts of states making up the North central part of the country have met.

They met under the auspices of the Middle Belt Forum on Sunday, faulting the recent attack on Benue State Governor, Chief Samuel Ortom, describing it as “a declaration of war.”

This is coming just as the organization also stressed that such assault was aimed at overwhelming “the Governor and the entire democratic structure in that state which, to them is a coup d’état.”

The position of the forum is contained in a communique that was issued at the end of the meeting held that the area would no longer be considered as part of the North.

National President of the MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus and Chairman of the Elders’ Council of MBF, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (retd), read the document after a meeting that was attended by elders and leaders from all the 14 states of region and the FCT.

While expressing shock at the reckless, daring, audacious and brazen attack on Ortom, the MBF expressed dismay at the incapacity of security agents to apprehend the leadership of Miyetti Kyauta Hore said to have masterminded the attack.

They warned that sending a “detachment of operatives to investigate a crime whose perpetrators are known” was not enough response from the Federal Government.

They however commended members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who warned that the nation risked disintegration if any harm were to befall Ortom.

While insisting that either “on account of incompetence or collusion,” the Federal Government “has failed in its primary constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians.

It added that the situation is leading to the takeover of the Nigerian space by merchants of death, kidnappers, rapists and other brigands.”

The meeting also appealed to the “indigenous peoples of the area to take deliberate steps to protect themselves and their communities from those it referred to as merchants of death, kidnappers, rapists and marauders.

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