Middle Belt group calls for resignation of Governor Ortom over Benue killings
A civil Society Organization (CSO) Middle-Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG), has called on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to resign over the incessant killing in the state.
At a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the MBCG, through its Convener, Prince Raymond Enero, and Deputy Convener, Dr. Paul Itodo, sympathised with the people of Benue state over the killings.
The group in an open letter to Governor Ortom, dated January 10, 2018 described as unfortunate a promising year like 2018 which has been cut short for many families through the killings.
Itodo said: “For members of the Middle Belt Conscience Guard, we have watched with utter dismay and disillusionment, the unfortunate and prevailing insecurity situation in your state, which exploded on January 1st, 2018 leading to regrettable deaths of our beloved brothers and sisters. May their souls rest in perfect peace. “However, we can no longer subscribe to your futile arguments or even tolerate your grandstanding on the perennial farmers/herders conflict in the Middle Belt, which your leadership has clandestinely exploited in Benue state for obvious political reasons.
“We are no doubt perplexed that in spite of the frightening dimension the crisis has assumed, you are still playing the dangerous game of political correctness, instead of looking inwards to retrace your steps or correct your commissions or omissions which have apparently exacerbated the crisis.”
The group accused the governor of shifting the blame of the killing on President Mohammadu Buhari by making unconvincing public statements.It said: “You have elected upon yourself to ridicule the office of Mr. President and a leader of Nigeria who has attested in words and deeds that the security of lives and property of Nigerians anywhere they reside in the country is paramount and not negotiable.
”Or else, how could you speak glowing about Mr. President ignoring the crisis in Benue state, but gleefully ignore your conscious arming of youths in Benue state as Civilian JTF and Livestock Guards? Is that what you do with security votes?
“It is also intriguing that upon the arrest of the armed Benue Civilian JTF members who confessed during interrogation to be sponsored by the Benue State Government, and arms supplied through one Alhaji, you had no patience to wait for investigations to be concluded before rushing to issue a media rebuttal, which is suspicious”, the middle belt said.
The group said the governor has failed the people of Benue state and the Middle Belt generally in safeguarding their lives and property.“Time is extremely overripe for you to do the needful by honourably resigning your position as the executive Governor of Benue state without further delay.
The group, in addition, asked the Governor to, before resignation, render account of the monthly hundreds of millions of security votes, which has accrued to the state, since he became the governor. This, the group said, is necessary because the said security votes have been abused.
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