The governor made this statement through his media aide, Nathaniel Ikyur, while reacting to the killing of 25 people by suspected herdsmen in some parts of the state on Monday night.
According to reports, no fewer than eight persons were mowed down on Monday night by suspected herdsmen who invaded Mbadwem in Guma local government area and 15 in Tiortyu in Tarka local government area of Benue state.
Also, scores of others were said to be injured and are receiving treatment in an unnamed hospital in the state.
The state over the years have been constantly attacked by armed herdsmen who initially entered the state to graze their cattle. It was reported by community leaders in the state that nothing less than 1000 people have been killed by the herdsmen between 2018-2021, while over 1.5 people are internally displaced due to the herdsmen crisis in the state.
Ortom’s statement reads: “It is becoming increasingly glaring every day that my people are now an endangered specie and so we can no longer wait for help from anywhere. My people will have to rise up to the occasion to defend themselves and their heritage against the Fulani army of occupation.
“We are law-abiding citizens. We have cried for help against these invaders but nothing is forthcoming. We are left alone and it looks like it is a deliberate strategy. Now we have only one option; to defend ourselves or get extinct. This is a case for our survival.
“We have been accommodating other people in our land but our hospitality is misconstrued as weakness. We are not a conquered people. We will never be. We are free-born citizens of Nigeria.” He said.
The governor however, enjoined security operatives to do more in crime prevention and protection of lives and property in the land just as he urged the people to cooperate with security agencies to flush out the undesirable elements in the society.
He added that his government will not shy away from its commitment to provide welfare and security for the citizens.