Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said that the report published by some national dailies claiming that Igbos in the state were targets of “coordinated attacks and threats of annihilation,” was misleading.
Speaking on Saturday, the governor reassured the Igbo community and other Nigerians doing business in the state that the current massive onslaught against criminals was yielding results and cases of kidnapping would soon become history.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Ortom said that the combined forces of the army, police and other security agencies had intensified operations particularly in crime flashpoints and huge success was being recorded.
He noted that the recent crackdown on a kidnappers’ hideout at Gbatse in Ushongo Local Government Area where a kingpin and his gang were apprehended was a result of the collaboration between his administration and security operatives.
Addressing claims particular tribes were being targeted, Ortom stated that “armed robbers and kidnappers do not recognize ethnicity. They target any individual or group for ransom and other forms of extortion. In Benue, like any other state, people of different ethnic groups have fallen victim to kidnappers.
“Governor Ortom states that what government and security agencies require from all stakeholders is support through intelligence gathering to enable them to guarantee the safety of lives and property.
“The governor re-emphasises the resolve of his administration to sustain the fight against criminal elements and urges the people of the state to go about their normal businesses.
“To address the security concerns the Igbo community in Benue State recently raised, Governor Ortom will soon meet with the leadership and other stakeholders of the group.
“He encourages representatives of Ndi Igbo in the state to attend the meeting with suggestions on ways of deepening the current security strategies as they affect their members,” the statement said.
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