Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has given a clear picture of how he narrowly escaped death from suspected bandits who reportedly attacked him and his convoy.
It was gathered that the governor was on his way to Makurdi when the terrorists opened fire on his convoy but were repelled by his security men.
Governor Ortom who narrated how he escaped from the terrorists said that they had rounded up on his farm and were preparing to return to Makurdi when he was attacked.
He said that but for the grace of God, he might have been a dead man.
The governor said that he ran a distance of one and a half kilometers to escape from the rampaging terrorists.
Ortom said that the attackers who were more than 15 in number were dressed in black attire and shot sporadically on sighting him and his security men.
According to him, the incident happened around 11:00 am on Saturday at his farm along Makurdi/Gboko road. He noted that though, his security men were able to repel the attackers, he still had to call for reinforcement of troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, policemen and State Security Servicemen.
Ortom said that he heard from intelligence report that the Miyeitti Allah had held a meeting in Yola, capital city of Adamawa and had singled him out to be killed and submitted that the attack on him on Saturday was a manifestation of their meeting.
The governor lamented that with the huge security around him to have been attacked, he wondered what ordinary people of the state will pass through.
“You know today is Saturday and is normal as a farmer, I usually go to my farm; so I went to my farm along Gboko road and on our way back, we started hearing some gunshots and we discovered people who were dressed in black and from experience, we now discovered that these are Fulani militias.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned what it called Saturday’s reckless attack and the assassination attempt on Governor Ortom by suspected killer herdsmen.
Taking this position in a statement, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put machinery in motion by ordering an immediate manhunt, arrest and prosecution of the assailants and as well beef up security around the governor.
The PDP expressed shock that the assailants trailed Governor Ortom and opened fire on him and his aides along Makurdi/Gboko road, “in an attack that by every indication is aimed to assassinate the governor.”
The statement added: “Our party is worried that this brazen attempt at Governor Ortom’s life is coming on the heels of his outspokenness in exposing those allegedly behind the incessant attacks of communities in the state and demanding that the Federal Government to live up to its responsibility on the protection of life and property in the state.”
Also reacting to the development, Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, warned that should anything happen to Ortom, the country would suffer the consequences.