Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has ordered the suspension of a traditional chief, Ortar Agwa Mnyange Kwahar, in Buruku Local Government Area of the state, all youth groups and their activities, over the gruesome murder of a widow.
Mrs. Becky Shaade Aondozungwe Nyihemba was burnt alive in her home by suspected thugs in the Mbagen community, Buruku Local Govt Area, on March 5, 2021.
The widow, a nurse by profession, had a week earlier raised the alarm about the threat to her life by unknown persons for reasons she did not mention
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mrs. Ngunan Adingi, who disclosed this in a statement issued on Saturday, March 27, said that the suspension of the chief followed the crisis in Mbatyough Council Ward, Mbagen in the council area, which led to the death of the widow.
The statement read,
“As a result of the recent crisis in Mbatyough Council Ward, Mbagen in Buruku Local Area of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom, after a meeting with the Tor Jemgbagh, HRH Chief Afatyo Ajoko, Ter Buruku HRH Moses Hanior, Mue Ter HRH Tivfa Addingi, the kindred heads in the wards and elders from the area at the Benue people House yesterday, 26th March 2021, took the following measures to end the skirmishes.
1. Governor Ortom condemned the gruesome manner that a widow, Mrs. Shaade Nyihemba, was murdered by unknown criminals and ordered that full investigation be carried out by the Police and DSS to find out those behind the dastardly act for prosecution.
2. The Governor directed that Zaki Ortar Agwa Mnyange Kwahar be suspended according to Section 30 of the Benue State Chieftaincy Law, to pave way for investigation into his role in the crisis at Mbatyough, Mbagen Council Ward.
3. All youth groups in Yemakem were banned with immediate effect. All activities of the Yamakem youth association were also suspended indefinitely.
4. The Governor said police personnel at the donated police station in Diwa, Mbatyough Council Ward, would be withdrawn immediately, and the police station shut down until proper documentation is completed.
5. Governor Ortom warned against the floating parallel Vigilante groups in the council wards and emphasized that anyone found hosting such groups would be sanctioned.
6. The Governor cautioned Benue Livestock Guards to restrict their operations within the mandate of the outfit, which is primarily about preventing open grazing and rustling of animals. He warned that any member of the Livestock Guards found operating outside the stipulated mandate would be expelled from the organization.
7. Traditional rulers were told to promote peace and security meetings in their domains to settle communal disputes.
8. Governor Ortom encouraged Benue people, particularly youths, to shun acts inimical to peace and support the government to guarantee the safety of lives and property while providing development to the state.