21st March, 2021
Former senate president David Mark has condemned Saturday’s assassination attempt against Governor Samuel Ortom and told security agencies: Enough of this malady.
Mark, a retired Brigadier-General and also an indigene of Benue, said the deteriorating security situation has become scandalous and has made Nigeria a laughing before other nations.
He asked security operatives to step up to the challenges of securing lives and property to avoid the consequences of a resort to self-help.
“If a state Governor can be so brazenly attacked, what would they not do to the ordinary citizens”, Mark said.
“ Let me state clearly that Benue people are receptive and accommodating. But this should not be misconstrued or mistaken for weakness. Enough of this malady.
“If our government and security operatives can no longer guarantee people’s safety in their homes, farms, or places of business, I am worried that the situation may compel citizens to resort to self-help.
“That is the situation, we cannot contemplate and must not be allowed to happen because the consequences would be catastrophic.
“Therefore, the federal government and all the security agencies must of a necessity come to terms with the painful reality of the unabating insecurity in the land and resolve to end it”.
Mark told Ortom not to be deterred by the incident.
Ortom should rather beef up security and welfare for the citizens of the state.
Mark praised Ortom for living up to his oath of office by defending and protecting the lives and property of Benue people without compromise.
Senator Mark advised all Benue citizens to be security conscious at all times just as he told them to provide useful information to security operatives of any suspected activity believed to be unlawful or anti-society.
Ortom narrowly escaped a gun attack on Saturday, when gunmen fired at his him and his entourage, when he visited his farm, near the Benue River on Tyo-MU Makurdi/Gboko road.
In his account of the incident, Ortom said armed militia men, numbering about 15, advanced quickly towards his convoy with sophisticated weapons but were repelled by his security details.
He said the men, dressed in black, had trailed his convoy from the farm.
Ortom said he had to run for dear life while his security details engaged the bandits who escaped into the nearby bushes.
“I will continue to fight for the truth, equity and justice. Nobody can intimidate me, those after my life will continue to fail as they failed today,” the ruffled Ortom said.
He said that he would send a petition on the attack to The Presidency, to ensure that criminal elements were flushed out of the state.
He also called on the Federal Government to act swiftly by deploying troops to arrest armed militia gangs hiding in the forests between Makurdi and Abinsi to allow peace and tranquility to reign.