The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has narrated how gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked his convoy on Saturday.
The incident was said to have occurred at Tyo Mu along Makurdi-Gboko Road, while on a visit to a farm.
The governor, who confirmed the incident to journalists, described the gunmen as “herders”.
He said the armed men, numbering about 15, trailed his convoy to the river bank, where he was on foot with his security details to inspect a farm, and opened fire on them.
Ortom praised his security details “who were just about six” for responding quickly to the attackers and repelling the armed men promptly before providing cover for him to return to safety.
The governor added that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, the police, and operatives of the Department of State Services have mobilised to the forest between Tyo Mu and Abinse, where the armed herdsmen are thought to be camped.
He also called for the arrest and prosecution of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.
In reaction to a comment made by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, that herdsmen have no option but to carry AK-47 to protect themselves, Ortom had warned all herders in the state to respect the laws prohibiting the carrying of unlicensed arms.
He had said: “Anyone who is not willing to respect the laws of our land should go and meet Bala Mohammed, and there you can carry AK-47, and you’ll not be apprehended.
“Here, when you come, we’ll apprehend you.
“I want this to be known.”
Following backlash, Mohammed cautioned herders against carrying AK-47 rifle, saying his earlier statement was a figurative allusion.