By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, on Wednesday said it would hold the federal government accountable should anything bad happen to the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
COSEYL, said this in Owerri, in a statement by the President, Goodluck Ibem, concerning the governor alleging a threat to his life.
The Igbo group said it observed Ortom was under threat due to his stand against open grazing in the Southern part of the country.
Also, Ibem claimed the threat to Ortom’s life was coming from what he described as sponsored terrorist groups from the Sudan country.
COSEYL said among others “The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the apex socio-political front for all youthful organisations in the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria is aware of the latest concern and alarm sounded by Governor Ortom of Benue State wherein the governor alleged that assassins from Sudan had been hired to eliminate him.
“We are already touched and saddened by recent assassinations and reported deaths that have overwhelmed the Nigerian space recently while the government of the day (the federal government which controls the whole security agencies, intelligence infrastructure and apparatuses, even the paramilitary units) has not been able to do much to stem the tide of this trend and bloodletting.
“The deaths of politically-exposed persons like Obadiah Mailafia, Ahmed Gulak, Dr Chike Akunyili, just to mention but a few should give any observer and follower of the Nigerian polity a worry. Though allegations point to elsewhere, nothing, to the knowledge of COSEYL, is concrete and firm as with these deaths. Even that of Gulak sounds like a cock and bull.”
“We wish to sound the warning to the federal government of the day with whom Ortom has been having a running battle of words that no harm, should by any means, come to Ortom.”
“We strongly support Ortom and his position in the matter of open grazing that has taken lives of Nigerians caused food crises, population displacement, human dislocation and dislodgement and other sundry challenges occasioned by herders whose agenda remains to grab land and use same for grazing commons.
“In our unalloyed support for him, we state that any attack on Ortom is not just an attack on the opposition or a dissenting voice but one against us and our democracy, since as a Coalition, we share the same opinion on grazing with the governor. We will not take this, not even from any president or presidency,” COESYL said.
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