The Idoma Area Traditional Council of Benue State has demanded that the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, and his Fulbe group should tender an unreserved apology to Governor Samuel Ortom for falsely accusing him of killing of pastoralists in Nasarawa State.
The council took its decision, Tuesday, February 14th, 2023 barely 24 hours after the Tiv Traditional Council had done the same, condemning Sanusi’s attacks on the governor in strong terms.
They arrived at the decision rising from its supreme council meeting held at the palace of Och’Idoma in Otukpo.
The paramount ruler of Idoma nation, His Royal Majesty, John Elaigwu Odogbo, who presided over the assembly, read the communique issued at the end of the council’s deliberations.
According to the paramount ruler, the council condemned the attack by Sanusi and “his co-travellers on the person and office of Governor Ortom’, stating that the governor and people of the state were peace-loving, ‘who value human lives’.
The Idoma Traditional Council also commended Governor Ortom for what they described as “his astute and proactive steps” together with the actions of the law enforcement agencies, which led to the end of kidnappings at the Egwanokwu hill in Ohimini local government area and the Otukpo-Utonkon road all in Idoma area.
The council also condemned in strong terms the use of military helicopters that hover around the Onyagede community in Ohimini local government without proper identification, and enjoined the people of the area to be more vigilant and report any suspicious move to security agencies.
On the forthcoming general election, the council cautioned against violence, thuggery and any sharp practices, stressing that “all hands must be on deck to make sure that votes count”.
While calling on all Idoma sons and daughters to close ranks and face common security and economic challenges threatening them, the council stressed that “we must be united to face these challenges no matter the political party affiliations”.
Governor Ortom, who had earlier addressed the Idoma traditional rulers, commended the traditional institution in the state for being supportive to his government, stating that their counsel and constant encouragement contributed to the success of his administration.
The governor, who expressed delight for the opportunity to attend the supreme assembly of the Idoma nation, pledged that, “I will continue to hold the traditional institution in high esteem and whether I am in government or not, I will continue to fight for the justice of my people.”
Governor Ortom, who holds the chieftaincy title of Ochikpali L’Agwobe K’Idoma, challenged the people on security of the area, stressing that ‘they must rise up and take their destiny in their own hands to fight for survival of the people’.
He also tasked the people on the need to vote candidates with capacity to unite the country, stressing that it must be someone with the competence to provide a template for all Nigerians to be given a sense of belonging irrespective of ethnic background.
Governor Ortom also charged traditional leaders in the area to take ownership of the forthcoming National Census, saying that, “This is the time to take charge so that you won’t come back to claim you were shortchanged.”