By Fred Chukwulobe
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has alleged that Fulani herdsmen attempted to assassinate him. He was said to be on his way to inspect a project when the incident happened.
Gov. Ortom has been outspoken against the atrocities of these herdsmen and “the silence, if not connivance” of the government. He, therefore, is a marked man.
He has given details of the account and the police and the SSS are yet to say something. We are waiting.
But while we are waiting, let me point out one aspect of the Governor’s account that bothers me: the one where he said he ran 1.5 kilometers inside the bush when the herdsmen struck.
For starters, 1.5 km is 1,500 meters, that is,15 times of 100 meters, one of which Usain Bolt runs in 9.58 seconds. The Governor who is not known to be a sprinter and who is diminutive ran it? He must have stamina.
Osondu agwu ike, you may say, but what if the herdsmen were inside that bush and shot him? His bullet proof car should have been the safest place to run to, maybe.
He ran into the bush and not into his bullet proof car? Questionable.
What if the herdsmen were inside the bush? What if they shot him while he was running?
Where were his ADC, orderly (both police) and Chief detail (SSS)? Did they run inside the bush with him?
Soon the police and the SSS will recall these officials and ask them to give an account of what happened. Watch out for another angle to this unfortunate incident
I have witnessed an attempt on the life of a State Governor. What his security details did was to push him inside his official car, pin him down on floor of the car, while others engaged the criminals in a constant shooting, while they sped off.
Running inside the bush angle of this story get as e bi. I bet the police will soon dispute it, if not the entire assassination story.
I’m not saying there was no attempt on his life; I’m pointing out possible holes.
I hope the Governor and his aides stick to this story with convincing details which may be in form of callouses on his feet.
The truth of the matter is that there are always two sides to a story. The herdsmen have so much terrorised us that anything about them is taken as gospel truth, sometimes hysterically. You don’t blame anybody, especially when the government is complicit. But the law, they say, is an ass. Take this before a law Court or panel of inquiry, the story will change.
However, this remains a very troubling development and I expect other governors to rise in condemnation of this dastardly attempt and demand a full investigation.
They should not forget what Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany, said: ” “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
-Fred Chukwulobe is a journalist