Benue government in total paralysis
It is regrettable that the Benue State government is in total paralysis and the governor, Samuel Ortom, cannot do anything about the well-being of the people. Sadly, rather than doing the needful to stop the indiscriminate killing by the herdsmen, Ortom decided to join the people in crying and blaming everybody but himself for the Benue massacre.
It is unfortunate that the killing of innocent people of Benue State under the watchful eyes of the Chief Security Officer of the state, Samuel Ortom, has continued unabated, yet nothing is being done to put a final stop to the bloodbath. People can no longer sleep with their eyes closed for fear of attack by the marauding herdsmen, while the man that is supposed to protect them as their leader is busy lamenting and claiming not to have security agents on his side. If the governor who swore the oath of office to secure the lives and properties of the people is so helpless and crying like a baby, what then is the fate of the Benue people? This clearly is an indication of the absence of government in Benue State. No reasonable government would fold its arms and watch the people being mercilessly killed for no just cause.
It is therefore safe to say that Benue State government is in total paralysis. The governor’s complaint that he does not have the police and army is hogwash. If I may ask, did we have police or army in Benue when we resisted the Jihadist movement in the days of Usman Dan Fodio? Did we also have the security agents on our side when the late Senator Joseph Tarka of blessed memory protected the people of Benue and the entire middle belt against domination by the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC)? Why is it difficult for Ortom to find indigenous solution to his indigenous herdsmen killing of Benue people and the wanton destruction of properties in the state?
In the midst of the herdsmen killings, the state government owes workers about twelve months salaries. It is interesting to note that governor Ortom betrayed his inner agenda when he declared that he would seek a new vehicle to drive his second term agenda whenever Benue people decide for him even when he had recently stated he had banned his political activities in the face of the herdsmen/farmers crisis. If I may ask, when did Benue decide for Ortom to join the APC? And if the governor thinks that he can return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I dare say that, that will signpost his political suicide because the PDP vehicles already has drivers.
Benue people must properly situate the current herdsmen/farmers crisis at the doorstep of governor Ortom’s leadership inertia. Who is blame in the case of Benue State government that is controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) yet, it fails to have effective communication and relationship with a Federal Government of the same party (APC)? When some of us complained of the dangerous activities of the marauding herdsmen in Agatu local government, governor Ortom’s surrogates characterized us as meddlesome interlopers, claiming we did not come from Agatu and that we were crying more than the bereaved. Now governor Ortom is asking Benue people to defend themselves is a clear admission of failure. It is unacceptable and definitely will put Benue people on the harm’s way.
Now the Federal Government has deployed soldiers and other security agents to mitigate the crisis and governor Ortom rather than harness and cooperate with security operatives to resolve the crisis, he is egoistically insisting he was not formally informed. We must put a stop to this ego massaging and playing of politics with the lives of Benue people. Governor Ortom must be reminded that the concern and empathy that Benue people, the Nigerian people and indeed, the world are showing is to the magnitude of the waste of innocent lives of citizens and properties, the misery of Benue people and not to his leadership ineptitude, and his shedding of crocodile tears. The day of reckoning is beckoning!
• Abba Moro, former Minister of Interior
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