Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) on Saturday visited Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi, the State capital.
The Elder Statesman visited the state to commiserate with the government and people of Benue over the killings in the state which he feared was taking a religious dimension.
Speaking to journalists at the Government House in Makurdi, Gen. Gowon expressed disappointment over the handling of security situation in the country, calling for immediate questioning of the leaders of Miyetti Allah.
He, however, commended Governor Ortom and the Benue State government for the way the issue was being handled.
He said “I think security agencies should invite and question the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who had earlier threatened to unleash violence on Benue State.
“I was out of the country when two priests and 17 worshipers were killed in a church in the state during a morning mass. I extend my condolences to the government and people of the state.
“I am sad and worried at the religious dimension the killings is assuming, the authorities should redouble their effort to deal with the security situation because if that is not done, the country could descend into a religious war, with no one coming out victorious.
“For us to survive as a nation; we must learn to live together as one regardless of ethnicity or religion.”
Welcoming the elder statesman, Governor Ortom, represented by his Deputy, Engr Benson Abounu thanked him for coming to commiserate with them and lending his voice for the federal government to take decisive actions to end the violence.
He disclosed that though the killings have reduced due to the change of tactics by the military who upgraded their operation in the state from “exercise cat race” to “operation whirl stroke,” the threat is not over yet as killings still go on in many places.”