The Benue State Government has insisted that Governor Samuel Ortom did not concoct the story of his attack by Fulani herdsmen, adding that the governor is ready to cooperate with special investigators.
The Governor who spoke with newsmen after the incident, narrated that the gunmen, numbering about 15, trailed him and his team to a riverbank when he was on foot before launching the attack.
Ortom’s convoy was attacked along Makurdi/Gboko road in Makurdi LGA of Benue but his security team repelled the attack and whisked the Governor to safety.
Following the attack, some critics had alleged that it was impossible for Ortom to be attacked because of the security wall around him, adding that Ortom was seeking attention for political gains.
But in a statement, Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase commended the Benue governor’s security team for repelling the attacks to protect him from danger.
“The governor is yet to meet with the investigators. We are expecting them. The governor has expressed a willingness to meet with them. He gave assurance that the Benue State Government will fully support the investigation,” Akase told TheNation.
He also rejected claims that Ortom was playing to the gallery, stressing that the governor was never seeking attention.
“Governor Ortom didn’t make up the story. The attack indeed, occurred. Security agencies have also confirmed that there was an assassination attempt on the governor. Why will the governor use a matter involving life to seek attention? Which attention, by the way?” he asked.
On the possibility of the governor running over one kilometre to safety with his security detail, Kaase said Ortom did.
He said: “Yes, he ran over a kilometer back to the place where the vehicles were parked.
“The area where the farm is located is towards River Benue and the terrain is not accessible by vehicles. So, they had to go by foot to the farm. On their way back, they ran into the ambush.
“The security men with him did a wonderful job of repelling the attacks to protect him.
” Yes, it was the gallantry of the security around him that saved the day. We give God the glory.
“The assailants did not overpower his security aides. So, the question of whether he went to the farm with limited security men answers the question.”