23rd March, 2021
Governor Samuel Ortom stage-managed his attack at the weekend to steal the land of Tyo-Mu people, an association for the indigenes claimed on Tuesday.
The Benue governor was reportedly attacked at the community by 15 suspected Fulani herdsmen on Saturday on the Makurdi-Gboko road.
Tyo-Mu Concerned Youth Vanguard are disputing the governor’s account, saying the attack was stage-managed.
In a statement today, the group said Ortom had already acquired their land but never paid a dime.
It said the attack was designed send the community packing from the area, said President of the association, Vershima Tsebee.
“We have no place to live; our inheritance has been razed down without compensation or prosecution of those involved in the crisis.
“There is no mechanism put here to prevent this dastardly destruction of lives and property up till now.
“Then we wake up to find out that Governor Ortom is purchasing the land. We feel that the alleged attack is to further frighten the people and scare them away from the area to pave way for the governor’s land-grabbing agenda.”
Tsebee further accused the Ortom government of indifference in settling the age-long communal crises between the Ihyarev and the Kparev, which has claimed many lives and properties worth hundreds of millions of Naira.
“What we have witnessed here for decades has been land crisis between Hyarev and Kparev. The last one led to the suspension of district heads.
“We were surprised to later learn that Governor Ortom came from the blues and bought the vast land for his private farm business when the people whose loved ones, houses and properties were destroyed have not been compensated,” the group added.
“The inhabitants are 100 percent Tiv-speaking people and predominantly farmers.
“Because they live on the bank of River Benue, they are noted for massive rice farming, cassava, potatoes, sonata beans, groundnut and yams.
“The people thus live on a large farmland that spreads to about 15 Kilometres with a large Fadama that spread to River Benue,” Tsebee.
Governor Ortom, who was in Abuja today to meet President Buhari said he has no reason to fake his attack.
In an interview with State House correspondents what his benefit would be raising a false allegation.