By Emmanuel Antswen
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has suspended three traditional rulers in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area over their roles in the crisis between Shitile and Ikyurav communities.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.
Ortom explained that the chiefs were suspended following the recommendation of the Benue State Security Council after its emergency meeting on Monday.
He revealed the suspended chiefs to include Tivlumun Ubugh, Mue Ter Chongo and Ayoleve Ornguga, Mue Ter Ipusu all third class Chiefs and the District Head of Mbacher, Luke Atomigba.
He said the affected Chiefs are to face a panel to be constituted by the Tiv Paramount Ruler, Chief James Ayatse, Tor Tiv V for appropriate sanctions.
He said that decision of the council was communicated to the affected Chiefs and stakeholders from Katsina-Ala during a stakeholders security meeting with the governor.
“The traditional rulers had neglected their duties and exhibited nonchalance towards effort aimed at resolving the crisis.
“The Governor noted that the traditional rulers had instead, resorted to fueling the crisis based on vested interests, thereby contravening the code of conduct enshrined in the Local Government and Chieftaincy Law of the State.
“The affected traditional rulers are to face a panel to be constituted by the Tor Tiv to investigate them and determine appropriate sanctions,” he said.
The Security Council ordered that all district heads that had declined to attend security meeting with Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa should be queried.
“Council also warned the Tor Sankera to be a father to all his subjects and eschew sentiments and personal interest, pointing out that he should work with all his subjects to ensure peace in his domain.”
Ortom further directed security agencies to intensify efforts to apprehend those responsible for the ongoing unrest in the area including politicians found culpable in the violence.
He appealed to the people to Katsina-Ala to go about their normal daily activities and report any suspicious elements to security operatives for appropriate action.
NAN reports that unknown gunmen on Aug. 17 attacked mourners and killed four at the burial of late Tor Gbev Amaafu in Tongov.
An additional five were killed during reprisal attacks by Amaafu, Sati Agirigi and Ikurav Tiev communities on the same day.