The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has warned that traditional rulers found to be shielding criminals in the state would be punished.
Ortom gave the order in response to the killing of four persons among those working to resolve the crisis between the state and Ebonyi State in Ado Local Government Area recently.
Delegations from Benue and Ebonyi States recently met in Abakaliki and set up a committee to find ways of ending hostilities between the border communities.
According to reports, it was on the basis of the resolutions made at the first meeting that the delegation from Ebonyi State was allegedly ambushed on their way to Benue State for a second meeting.
However, the governor, while speaking at a function at the Benue People’s House in Makurdi, the state capital, charged traditional rulers to sensitize their subjects to support security operatives with timely and useful information about criminals hiding in their communities.
Ortom also gave the people of Ado Local Government Area seven days to produce those who allegedly ambushed and beheaded the four persons from Ebonyi, for prosecution.
He particularly directed the District Head of Agila Chiefdom in the local government to ensure that the police get the needed intelligence to apprehend the suspects.
According to Ortom: “Henceforth, any traditional ruler in Benue State found to be shielding criminals causing crisis in his domain will be sanctioned.”
He also lamented the loss of lives and destruction of property as a result of avoidable conflicts in some communities in the state and at the border between Benue and Taraba States.