Gov. David Umahi has urged the Benue government to form a replica of the Ebubeagu security outfit to protect a village inhabited mainly by Izzi natives from Ebonyi in the state.
Umahi spoke on Wednesday when he visited the village known as Nwori-Ndi Obasi Village in Ado Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue which was attacked by gunmen on 30 May.
The attack, which left some persons dead and many wounded, was stopped from spilling over to the neighbouring Okwofuruike and Odoke Villages of Ebonyi LGA by a combined team of security agencies and Ebubeagu security outfit.
Speaking during the visit, Umahi said Ebonyi Government may be forced to deploy Ebubeagu to Benue if the state government failed to set up an outfit to protect the people.
“These are Ebonyi people paying their taxes in Benue and should not be abandoned.
“We cannot ask security agencies from Ebonyi to protect the people in Benue, but we will deploy our youths and the indigenes to protect them.
“I want to restate that the incident did not occur in Ebonyi or within the buffer zone of the boundary with Benue.
“The incident affected Ebonyi indigenes living in Benue for over 100 years and if they wish to belong to Ebonyi, the Benue people should allow them,” Umahi said.
He donated N5 million to victims of suspected gunmen attacks commiserating with the wounded victims, who were still receiving treatment at the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
He said the government had set up a committee, headed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Francis Nwifuru, to ensure adequate care for the victims.
“The committee will ensure adequate feeding of the wounded persons and those displaced during the attack, including medical expenses and shelter.
“I have directed the hospital’s Chief Medical Director to do everything possible to stabilise and treat all the victims.
“They will not leave the state in a hurry as we will ensure adequate security before they return to their homes,” the governor said.
He described the attack as barbaric, saying it should be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.