Benue killing: Ortom suspends three traditional rulers

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Three traditional rulers, including two 3rd class chiefs and a district head from Katsina-Ala local government area of Benue State, have been suspended by the state government in connection with the prolonged crisis between Shitile and Ikyurav.

The suspended 3rd Class Chiefs are Chief Tivlumun Ubugh, Mue Ter Chongo and Chief Ayoleve Ornguga, Mue Ter Ipusu, as well as the District Head of Mbacher, Chief Luke Atomigba. They were suspended over their roles in the communal crisis which has rocked the area.

The agelong Shitile/Ikyurav communal crisis have claimed several lives, the latest being the reported killing of several people including mourners at a wake in the early hours of last Saturday.

The affected traditional rulers were suspended based on the recommendation of the Benue State Security Council after its emergency meeting held st the New Banquet Hall of the Government House in Makurdi on Monday.

While reading the Council’s resolutions during a marathon meeting with stakeholders from the local government area, Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed that the traditional rulers had neglected their duties and exhibited nonchalance towards efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.

The Governor accused the traditional rulers of fuelling the crisis based on vested interests, thereby contravening the code of conduct enshrined in the Local Government and Chieftaincy Law of the State.

It was gathered that the affected traditional rulers would soon be made to face a panel to be constituted by the Tor Tiv to investigate them and determine appropriate sanctions.

Governor Ortom disclosed further that the Council also directed that all the District Heads from the area who declined invitation to attend a security meeting with Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa would be queried to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them.

He said Council also warned the Tor Sankera to be a father to all his subjects and eschew sentiments and personal interest, pointing out that he should work with all his subjects to ensure peace in his domain.

The Council also directed security agencies to go after criminal elements responsible for the unrest in the area and also arrest and prosecute any politician found culpable in the violence.

The Governor advised the people of Katsina-Ala to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation and report suspicious elements to security operatives for prompt action, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had already given marching orders to security agencies to tackle banditry in the country.

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