Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Wednesday told the people of Benue State to defend themselves lawfully against any attackers who invade their homes with an intention to kill.
Wike made the remark when he led a delegation of elder statesmen from Rivers State to condole Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi over the recent loss of 73 people killed by suspected herders in Benue rural environ.
"Don’t take laws into yours hands but if you see an armed robber coming or knock on your door, you must defend yourself, that is not taking laws into your hands.
"Our people have asked us to come and commiserate with you and to tell you that your pains are our pains. Take heart, God will fight for you but that does not mean…(laughs), God will fight for you when you are ready to fight for yourself," he said.
The Rivers governor noted that he was in the state to identify with his colleague, a brother who has a problem and that his coming was not political, as he further stressed that it wasn’t about party because the time had come when Nigerians should rise beyond party affiliation to solve the country’s problem.
Wike maintained that one problem that affects a state affects the entire country as there were no justification whatsoever for the loss of a single life, talk more of many lives lost to the crises over farmers/herders dispute.
He added, "I’m not here to condemn the administration because they are of a different party and I belong to another party. But they know that I know that they are doing well. What has happened to you had affected me too, they were killing my people before and when I asked for support, they said I was playing politics. Now, look at death everywhere, nobody is free again."
The Rivers governor emphasised the need for the country to own up to obvious failure, sit on a round table and do what would be necessary to end unwanton killings across the nation in order to give citizens the dividends of democracy which they actually deserves.
Wike who was accompanied by a former Rivers state governor, Celestine Omehia, Senators including George Sekibo,a former ministers of Transport, Chief Abiye Sekibo among others donated the sum of N200million for the upkeep of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) now numbering up to 100, 000 spread across seven camps.
Responding, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, appreciated the entire Rivers people for detesting what was happening in Benue and coming all the way to commiserate with him as he emphasised that until justice is done for the Benue people, he would keep talking.
"We need justice and we will continue to shout louder until we get justice. Whatever pains we (Benue) are going through today should be the sacrifice to deliver Nigeria," Ortom concluded.