The Director-General, Center for Justice and Ethnicity in Nigeria, Pastor Musa Kallamu Dikwa has said he had warned eight governors about planned attacks on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
Dikwa, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Monday, said he wrote the office of the Benue state governor, Ortom and the Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku, informing them of the plans by some Muslim northern groups to attack them.
He said he also copied six other governors from the Northern region to inform them of such while urging them to caution their people.
According to him, the letter signed 22nd of February, 2021 was acknowledged by the liaison offices of the eight state governments on the same day. Dikwa, however, said he suspected that the letters were not delivered to the governors as expected.
Barely a month after, gunmen suspected to be armed herdsmen militia ambushed and attacked Governor Ortom while inspecting his Farm at Tyo-Mu along Màkurdi Gboko Road.
Dikwa also condemned the arrest of three fishermen of the Junkun tribe for allegedly being involved in the attack on Governor Ortom.
The cleric, who is of Dikwa Local Government in Borno state said he had got that piece of information from a meeting held in Jigawa State at the Emir Central Mosque, Dutse.
He said the Muslim Solidarity Forum with Muslim youths from the North met on the 14th of February, 2021 with the Secretary-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu where they concluded that “The Fulani cattle business is an Islamic business of Prophet Mohammed. Therefore, any group that is asking Fulani herdsmen to leave their areas is fighting Islam, not Fulani ethnic group, therefore they will not take it easy with any ethnic group that hates the Fulani…”
Dikwa said he attended some of the meetings held by Northern leaders and Muslim groups in disguise, especially when he was not recognised. He said in cases where his identity was known, he linked up with attendees to get information on conclusions reached at such meetings.
He said, “We wrote letters giving the details of planned attacks and assassinations on two governors, the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and his Taraba State counterpart, Darius Ishaku. We copied 6 other governors and the letters were acknowledged on the 23/02/2021 through their liaison offices in Abuja.
“After one month, the attack on Governor Ortom took place and none of these governors called us to deliberate on what we can do to tackle this nonsense plans against people of other ethnic nationalities by Fulani herdsmen.
“We suspected that the letters didn’t get to the governors’ tables. We also heard that some of those people working with the governors are hiding important information like this so it does not get to the governors because they have been paid by these so-called northern politicians and leaders of these Fulani terrorists. The arrest of three Junkun fishermen is to cover up for the criminal Fulani attackers and create another problem between the Tiv and Junkun tribes. Governor Ortom knows his attackers!
“The Fulani Nationality Movement came out in public and claimed they attacked Governor Ortom but none of the security agencies came out to caution or go after the group that claimed it attacked rather, they are arresting innocent people.”
He further alleged that the federal security agencies are biased towards Fulani groups, saying, “The attitude of the security agencies toward other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria shows that this government is behind the Fulanis as they continuously harass, intimidate and terrorise Nigerians.
“The security agencies are beating the drums for ethnic-religious war in this country. Therefore, the security agencies must stop discriminating and marginalising other ethnic nationalities in their operations. Nigeria belongs to Nigerians and not to the people who came from the Republic of Mali, Burundi, Chad and Niger Republic.”
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom had earlier raised the alarm over a plan by the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to eliminate him, saying he had earlier received intelligence reports to that effect.
He said the attack came a few days after the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore held a meeting in Yola and singled him out as a thorn in their flesh who must be eliminated.
According to the governor, “I was inspecting my farm, when the militia herders, who were dressed in black ambushed me, my security men, and opened fire immediately.
“I want to say here that my life is in the hands of God and no Fulani militia has the power to take it without God’s permission, because as many times as they try, they will continue to fail.”
He said it took the swift response of his security aides to repel the attack and that he ran a long distance to escape unhurt.
SaharaReporters, New York