I’m disappointed in you – Buhari replies Ortom
President Muhammadu Buhari says he is disappointed and sad with the manner Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom reacted to the killings of soldiers and innocent citizens in the state.
The president stated this in a Thursday statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
Ortom had flayed Buhari’s handling of insecurity in the nation, lamenting that no fewer than 70 persons have been killed in Makurdi local government area of the state in two weeks.
The governor was reacting to the killing of seven persons at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abagena village on Monday.
“How do you wake up every day and see your people being killed? How can I be a happy man?
“Mr President must do the needful and I want to suggest that immediately let there be a security summit. I’m aware that the situation is prevalent in other parts of the country,” Ortom said.
According to the presidential statement, the president expressed his condolences to the families of the dear citizens who lost their loved ones in the recent spate of killings in Benue State.
He said that the rising levels of incidents, especially the killings and violence in various parts of the country called for further collaboration with security agencies to curb its recurrence.
“He also states his disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State make a litany of accusations against his person and his government of following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.
“No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp. President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice.
“The lives of fellow citizens should not be desecrated by deploying them in political diatribe which unfortunately appeared to be the intent of the string of emotional attacks and blame laid at the doors of the President for those killings by Governor Ortom. President Buhari took an oath to defend the life and property of every citizen, a duty he takes seriously and is committed to ensuring.
“Those citizens regardless of their affiliations, who either incite, sponsor or are proven to be abettors of these atrocities will face the law squarely and be answerable for their crimes against our fellow citizens and nation.
“President Buhari continuously stresses that the strength of our country lies in our diversity in faith, culture, and traditions and attempts to sharpen the divide between northern and southern Nigeria, between Muslims and Christians, and between communities that have coexisted for centuries should be frowned upon and resisted. As Nigerians, we accuse colonial rulers of the policy of divide and rule. Today, it is our own leaders who put region against region, religion against religion, ethnic group against ethnic group and community against community.
“The future of Benue State and indeed that of the entire country lies in harmony and the respect for law, order, and the constitution. It is the only way to achieve progress and development.
“While the President will continue to keep security, police and the armed forces on their toes to be on top of their act in troubled parts of the country, the situation in the states will greatly be helped by everyone working together because that is the foundation on which progress and prosperity can be achieved.
“Benue under the Ortom administration ought to cooperate with the Federal Government in the implementation of a number of national strategies programs in addressing underlying issues militating against peace, progress and development. This can still get done when the interest of the people is placed above all other interests. A government voted into office by the people, should treat the people as its masters and not as its servants,” the presidential statement read in part.