EXTREMIST group the Fulani Nationality Movement (Funam) has claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over the weekend warning him that he will not be so lucky next time.
On Saturday, Governor Orotom’s convoy was attacked by armed men but his security details managed to fight them off. According to the governor, he ran for one and half kilometres on foot after the attack to escape the assassins, who wanted to kill him for opposing open grazing and banning the practise in Benue State.
Funam spokesman Umar Amir Shehu, said Governor Ortom its plan suffered a setback due to a slight communication error. He added that Governor Ortom stood against open grazing and Fulani interests in the country, so was a legitimate target for elimination.
Mr Shehu said: “Our attention has been drawn to media reports speculating about who attacked the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. Yes, We did, the Fulani Nationality Movement carried out the attack and we have genuine reasons as we acted on behalf of millions of Fulani people in 15 countries.
“It’s 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.
“Wherever you are, once you are against Fulani long term interest, we shall get you down. This is a clear warning and we hope those who take us for granted will get the indisputable message.
“Our intention is unequivocal, to kill them and that mission will one day be fulfilled and very soon too. Eleven of Funam operatives were involved in the attack and Ortom escaped today because of a slight technical communication error but next time, he will not be lucky. We can assure him and his supporters.”
Governor Ortom was attacked on his farm at Tyo-mu village, along the Makurdi-Gboko road. Reacting to the attack, Governor Ortom linked the assassination attempt to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban), who he said had concluded plans to assassinate him over his position on open grazing.
According to Governor Ortom, Macban took the decision to eliminate him during a meeting it recently held in Yola. He noted that his life is in the hands of the supreme God and no Fulani man can kill him.