The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom on Thursday reacted to a statement made by the presidency accusing him of belittling Nigeria’s security agencies, thereby challenging President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue Nigerians from the insecurity bedeviling the country.
Mr Ortom made this known in a statement by his media aide, Nathaniel Ikyur saying, “Government to redeem its battered image by rescuing Nigerians from the apron strings of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists who are having a field day in the country.
“If I raised a false alarm, why have the Fulani terrorists who are veiled as herdsmen continued to kidnap and kill Nigerians unchallenged? How many of the terrorists and bandits have been apprehended and prosecuted? The Buhari administration cannot extricate itself from complicity regarding the evil visited on citizens of this country.”
Mr Ortom also described Mr Shehu as an “opportunistic politician.”
He said, “Shehu should be told that I rose to become a Local Government Chairman, State Publicity Secretary of National Centre Party of Nigeria; State Treasurer of All People’s Party, State Secretary as well as State Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Auditor of PDP, Minister of the Federal Republic and now a two-term Governor. If Shehu thinks it is easy to win elections, he should test his popularity by contesting a councillorship position in his local government area.
“No amount of blackmail, persecution and media attack can discourage him from speaking against the injustice and pain the present government has caused Nigerians.”
He also advised the Presidency “to focus on ending the killings of innocent Nigerians, fix the economy as it promised and stop the stinking corruption on their watch.”
The presidency in the statement by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu on Wednesday challenged Mr Ortom to mention those military personnel who told him that Mr Buhari had ordered security forces not to move against criminal herdsmen.
Mr Shehu said, “In a period of heightened insecurity, politicians should be working to bring the nation closer together, not risking further violence by dishonestly seeking to further divide Nigerians along ethnic or religious lines.”