A Fulani group by the name Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM, has claimed responsibility for the attack on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
FUNAM said it planned to kill Ortom on Saturday, but its plan suffered a setback due to a slight communication error.
Confirming their culpability in a statement by one Umar Amir Shehu, FUNAM said Ortom stood against open grazing and Fulani interest in the country.
The statement entitled: “Why we attacked Ortom” reads: “Our attention has been drawn to media reports today speculating about who attacked the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.
“Yes. Yes, We did. The Fulani Nationality Movement, (FUNAM) carried out the attack. We have genuine reasons. We acted on behalf of Millions of Fulani people in 15 countries.
“It’s a case of vengeance against an infidel who has used his time and money, deployed in destroying the Fulani values and inheritance.
“Our courageous fighters carried out this historic attack to send a great message to Ortum and his collaborators: Where ever you are, once you are against Fulani long term interest, we shall get you down. This is a clear warning. We hope those who take us for granted will get the indisputable message.
“Our intention is unequivocal: TO KILL HIM. That mission will one day be fulfilled and very soon too.”
“Eleven of FUNAM operatives were involved in the attack. Ortom escaped today because of a slight technical communication error. Next time, he will not be lucky. We can assure him and his supporters.”
Hours after he was attacked on his farm at Tyo-mu village, along Makurdi – Gboko road, Ortom had linked the assassination attempt to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN.
According to him, the group gave the go-ahead for his assassination after a meeting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
During a thanksgiving service in Makurdi, the governor said his life is in the hands of the Supreme God and no Fulani man can kill him.