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Benue people bury their dead while Ortom politicises security, Presidency alleges

April 20, 2023

The Presidency has accused the Benue State Governor, Samuel Or- tom, of politicising insecurity at a time when the people of the state were busy bury- ing their dead. It also accused the governor of stubbornly ignoring several security reports made available to him by the security agencies choosing instead to blame the Fulanis for every violence committed in the state.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a release yesterday equally said the governor- elect; Father Hyacinth Alia would be inheriting a state currently in intensive care unit (ICT). Responding to editorials published in some national dailies, Shehu alleged that they attempted to lay the blame of the dire security situation in Benue State entirely at the feet of the outgoing president.

He, however, said the people of the state knew the truth and that was why they rejected Ortom at the Senatorial polls and voted for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the governorship election. He said: “The people of Benue State know the truth. After all, it is they who have suffered under Ortom’s ‘leadership’ – if one can call it such. It is they who have experienced first-hand the mass killings, the torture, the litany of atrocities as Benue’s security situation plummeted ever further.

It is they who buried their loved ones while watching their careless, irresponsible and incompetent governor politicise those freshly dug graves. “And it is they who turned to the last privilege they had left: their democratic privilege, to resoundingly kick out Ortom and his so-called Peoples Democratic Party in favour of a new governor, Reverend Father Hyacinth Iornem Alia from Buhari’s party, the APC.” Shehu said the President initiated several measures to stem the security situation in the state but alleged that such were roundly ignored.

Those interventions by the President, according to him, included a number of in-person meetings with the Governor of Benue State and other community leaders, assuring them of the Federal Government’s commitment to protecting farmers and communities; the establishment and funding of Joint Security Operations, code-named Operation Whirl Stroke (OWS). To date, the OWS Team remains in place; the deployment of special security forces to flash- points in the state as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms amongst others.

“Despite these efforts, we know that the new Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has his work cut out. In his own words, he is inheriting a state that is in the Intensive Care Unit. Perhaps if Governor Ortom had been more con- cerned with doing his job rather than politicising the tragedies so frequently tak- ing place under his watch, the situation in Benue might be very different, like in any of its neighbours – Taraba, Na- sarawa, and the FCT – which all enjoy peace,” he said. (New Telegraph).

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