The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has alleged a fresh plot to assassinate him by Fulani herdsmen.
Ortom who made the allegation while addressing a press conference on Thursday accused the deposed Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi of inciting members of the Fulani ethnic group against him.
The governor alleged that the deposed emir and 52 other personalities of Fulani extraction wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari in a desperate attempt to set him up for hatred, vilification, and attacks.
Ortom said since he signed the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, he has escaped at least seven assassination attempts.
He added that Fulani herdsmen attacks in Benue have led to the death of over 6,000 people while more than two million are internally displaced.
“My attention was drawn to a write-up signed by 52 personalities of Fulani extraction led by the deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi in form of a letter to Mr President in which the group leveled all manner of accusations against me in a desperate attempt to set me up for hatred, vilification and attacks.
“The group maliciously accused me of carrying out genocide against pastoralists. The dethroned Emir Sanusi did not stop at that. He made a video in Hausa in which he maligned me and called on all Fulanis to consider me as their enemy while urging those in Benue State to vote against me during the coming elections.
“I consider these allegations and blackmail targeted at my person and the Government of Benue State as part of a grand conspiracy by enemies of the state to eliminate me.
“Since 2017 when we enacted the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, I have escaped seven assassination attempts. Those behind the evil plots have not hidden their motive. They have made me an enemy for choosing to stand with my people and defending their rights to life and freedom.
“Fulani herdsmen attacks on my people in the last couple of years have caused a devastating humanitarian crisis resulting in the killing of over 6,000 Benue people and the displacement of about two million others with many living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
“Let me tell the dethroned Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi and his conspirators that I cannot be intimidated by any of them. I hold the mandate of Benue people and my allegiance is to my people in respect of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which gives states as federating units, the power to enact laws for the good governance of their people. I have nothing personal against the Fulani,” he said.