Governor Samuel Ortom has charged citizens to rise and defend themselves from further attacks following the spate of killing of Benue people by herdsmen militias.
The Governor stated this on Friday in Anoka, Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State during a funeral oration in honour of Mama Enenu Ebute, mother of Justice Mary Abounu, wife of the Benue State Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu.
He noted that even Israel which is the chosen heritage of God does not allow her people to be killed in such a manner without defence, stressing that Benue people have had enough and need to live.
The Governor urged patriotic Nigerians and men of good conscience to speak out against the ills in the country, pointing out that support and synergy with security agents was imperative in the fight against banditry, terrorism and other forms of criminality.
He lamented that hundreds of villages in Benue State had been sacked and thousands displaced by marauding herdsmen, noting that such portends danger for the state as the Food Basket of the Nation.
He admonished the people of the state to put politics aside and join hands with the government to fight for the survival and soul of Benue State which he said is currently under siege.
While expressing the belief that the deceased lived a worthy and fulfilled Christian life and would be enjoying eternity in Heaven, the Governor prayed God to console the bereaved family members, stressing that he was happy to be associated with the Abounu family.
In a homily, Archbishop of Abuja Diocese His Grace, Most Reverend Oche Job, charged the living to note that there is life hereafter and encouraged them to embrace Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
Wife of the Executive Governor of Benue State, Mrs Eunice Ortom, PhD and other prominent personalities among whom were Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Titus Uba, Senator Abba Moro and former Deputy Governor of the State, Chief Steven Lawani attended the funeral.
Others were members of the Benue State Security and Executive Council.