Again, Ortom Chides Buhari, Insists President Failed in Securing Nigeria

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George Okoh

Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom has once more alleged that the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to secure the country was giving opportunity to terrorists to take over some parts of the country.

The governor made this known yesterday, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary(CPS) Mr. Nathaniel Ikyur in Makurdi.

The governor who was replying to statements made by the presidential spokesman Mallan Garba Shehu in some national dailies, decried the rate at which the sovereignty of Nigeria was daily being compromised, “with the activities of armed Fulani herdsmen that has continued to kill and sack communities across the country.”

He said president Buhari’s state of Katsina had been badly hit with the activities of these terrorists

The governor described the statement from Shehu as shameful.

“The shameful press statement from the presidential villa, Abuja authored by Mr. president’s attack dog, Garba Shehu does not qualify for the official seal or response by the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. But for the less knowledgeable, we’ll put records straight.

“Governor Ortom in the AriseTV interview raised fundamental issues every reasonable government should be bold enough to address without qualms. The governor decried the rate at which the sovereignty of Nigeria is daily being compromised with the activities of armed Fulani herdsmen that has continued to kill and sack communities across the country.

“President Buhari’s state of Katsina is badly hit with the activities of these terrorists. It is the President’s failure to secure Nigeria that has allowed terrorists to take over most states. This is not the making of Governor Ortom,” he added.

The statement also read that, “Benue State where Ortom governs, like many states across the country is severally attacked and people sacked from their ancestral lands by armed Fulani terrorists.

“The result is that more than 1.5 million Benue citizens now live in squalor in IDPs not fit for human habitation. From north to south, insecurity pervades the landscape of Nigeria with even the military looking helpless in face of superior firepower of the armed terrorists. Should Governor Ortom keep quiet in the face of this?

Furthermore, the Benue governor pointed out that for more than a year now, he has been shut out from seeing the president, asking: “Is this too a lie? Did Governor Ortom lie when he said that under President Buhari’s administration, the dollar skyrocketed from N190 in 2015 to almost N600 in 2022?

“Has President Buhari’s government not spent billions of dollars in ‘Turning Around the Maintenance’ of the nation’s refineries without commensurate results from the facilities? Is it Governor Ortom that stopped the President from revamping the country’s refineries after such humongous sums were spent on it?

“Who has been held accountable for this? Why did Garba Shehu fail to see all of these but chose to gloss over them?”

“In the AriseTV interview, governor Ortom reiterated his call for the president to convene a national security summit to find ways out of the present state of insecurity. Is this not a more reasonable position from a Governor that cares for the unity of this country? What is the President hiding that he is afraid of such a convocation?

He added: “Governor Ortom in that interview reiterated that Benue State will never cede any of its land for cattle routes, grazing areas or colony. Why should this administration be compelling its officials to rediscover grazing routes for cows in the 21st century as a means of breeding livestock?

“This is akin to returning the citizens to the stone age. It is a gross abuse of Nigerians. And Governor Ortom vehemently opposes this. For the avoidance of doubt, we have opted for ranching in Benue State and there is no going back.”

“It is therefore curious that, Garba did not address the issues Governor Ortom raised in the interview with AriseTV. Rather, he went about chasing shadows, trying in vain to paint the governor in bad light. In doing so, he turns to accuse the governor of funding a militia group. This is the height of irresponsibility.

“It is on record that since 2015 when President Buhari came to power, Fulani terrorist groups have been emboldened, killing and taking over positions of governance in most parts of the country and rendering citizens destitutes in the own land. These are glaring facts that this APC-led government of President Buhari has become inept and clueless and unable to protect the sovereignty of the Nigerian State. These are issues Governor Ortom sought to ask Mr President to address.

“Rather than take the advice Governor Ortom offers for the collective good of the nation, Garba Shehu and those hired to insult the Governor finds it easy to ignore the weighty issues that bothers on national security but rather go about in circles.”