Stakeholders of the Benue State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC
, have urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the state, adding that they are dismayed by this crass incompetence exhibited by the governor and his lonesome bitter and sustained campaign of calumny on the person and office of President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Leader of the Benue APC and Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume made these calls at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, noting that the call was hinged on the fact that Governor Samuel Ortom had lost control of the security situation in the state.
“We are dismayed by this crass incompetence exhibited by the governor. Governor Ortom is clueless, his gangsterist and foul language to disparage decent people could further deteriorate the security situation in Benue State. We urge security agencies to immediately arrest all criminal elements Governor Ortom is using to perpetuate insecurity and bring normalcy to the troubled state.
However, the party leaders condemned what it described as the governor’s “penchant for verbally attacking” President Muhammadu Buhari without regard for his age and office.
The Minister lamented that there is a high level of proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Benue State, praying the federal government to thoroughly comb the State to recover those arms.
“Since Governor Ortom has consistently alleged that the security situation in Benue State has deteriorated in such a manner that lives of Benue people are not secured, we call on Mr. President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to declare a state of emergency in Benue State to bring the security situation in the state under control.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his resilience and steadfastness in driving the development agenda of his administration nationally and especially in Benue State.
“The men and women of good conscience in Benue State are in full support of his administration and stand to condemn the ethnic profiling propagated by Governor Samuel Ortom. We are better than that as a people. We, the APC elders/stakeholders in Benue State pledge our total and unflinching support to Mr. President and his administration.
“Finally, we hereby roundly condemn the senseless killings that have been going on in Benue State perpetrated by criminal groups, be they the Fulani herdsmen, militia groups and political mercenaries acting the scripts of so-called political leaders. Benue State should not be allowed to degenerate into a primitive and mindless killing field at a time other states are reaping bountiful dividends of democracy.
“Our hearts go out to all the families that have lost loved ones, some of whom are presently mourning their unburied dead relatives. We pray that the Almighty God should grant them the fortitude to pass through this trying times without losing hope in a one united and indivisible nation.
Akume demanded that the Governor should render account of the arbitrary N800 million monthly allocations he appropriates to himself as security votes as well as the over N200 million monthly deductions he makes from the Local Government Joint Account in the pretext of catering for the IDP camps, and yet he funds no solution to the insecurity and IDP camps situation.
The Minister also demanded true accountability for the billions of Naira released to Benue broad funds and invited the EFCC to step into the matter and help the Benue people in the evil extortion.
According to the former Benue State Governor, “the President has delivered all his obligations to the Governor and people of Benue State by ensuring regular and prompt releases of state’s and local government’s monthly federal allocations, all which amount to about Five Hundred Billion Naira (N500 billion) since Ortom’s assumption of office as Governor in 2015.
“Furthermore, President Buhari had released Forty Billion (N40 billion) Naira to the Ortom administration as bail out funds to enable him pay outstanding salaries, pensions and allowances, as well as another Twenty-Eight Billion Naira (N28 billion) released to Governor Ortom as refunds from the Paris Club refund, just as also, the President graciously sent an extra Ten Billion (N10 billion) to the Benue State Governor to enable him provide infrastructures for the people of Benue State.
The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency direct the disbandment of the Livestock Guards in Benue State for their involvement in nefarious and criminal activities leading to the breach of peace and massacre of innocent citizens of Benue State,” he said.