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Ortom suspends Benue chief over widow’s killing

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has suspended a traditional chief, Ortar Agwa Kwahar in the Buruku Local Government Area of the state.

The governor, according to a statement made available to journalists on Saturday by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Ngunan Adingi, hinged the suspension to crisis in Mbatyough Council Ward, Mbagen in the council area which led to the burning down of a widow, Shaade Nyihemba.

Recall that the widow who was a nurse was burnt down when some arsonists set her house on fire few weeks ago and her death raised suspicion among residents in the community.

Ortom held a meeting with the traditional rulers and elders from the area on Friday and directed the suspension of the traditional chief to pave the way for investigation into his (the chief’s) role in the crisis in his domain.

According to the statement by the Commissioner, “Governor Ortom condemned the gruesome manner that a widow, Mrs Shaade Nyihemba was murdered by unknown criminals and ordered that full investigation be carried out by the Police and DSS to find out those behind the dastardly act for prosecution.

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“The Governor directed that Zaki Ortar Agwa Mnyange Kwahar be suspended according to Section 30 of the Benue State Chieftaincy Law, to pave way for investigation into his role in the crisis at Mbatyough, Mbagen Council Ward when he should be promoting peace.”

The statement further said that the governor ordered that all youth groups in Yemakem were banned with immediate effect.

“All activities of Yamakem youth association were also suspended indefinitely,” the statement added.

The governor also warned against floating of parallel vigilante groups in the council wards and emphasised that anyone found hosting such groups would be sanctioned.

Ortom warned Benue Livestock Guards to restrict their operations within the mandate of the outfit which is primarily about preventing open grazing and rustling of animals.

He warned that any member of the Livestock Guards found operating outside the stipulated mandate would be expelled from the organisation.

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