…..says Benue Gov using the crisis to steal public funds
Some middle-belt leaders have denounced Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over his persistent attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group, under the auspices of the Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG), warned the governor to focus on governance rather than habitually incite Nigerians against Fulani herders.
The MBCG, at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, described Ortom’s assaults on President Buhari and Fulani herders as “uncomplimentary, satanic and a grand plot to orchestrate widespread public violence in Nigeria”.
In his address, Alex Samuel, the Secretary of MBCG’s Board of Trustees, said the governor’s antics is aimed to divert attention from public funds being looted in his state.
Samuel noted that Ortom capitalizes on the slightest opportunity to criticise Buhari whereas in his state people die daily of hardship and starvation.
According to him, while President Buhari has entrenched durable peace between farmers and herders, Ortom continues to fuel hatred amongst the people due to political benefits from the crisisd create using Fulani herdsmen.
The MBCG advised the governor to concentrate on providing genuine leadership to the people who elected him.
The group added that Ortom who has displayed zero capacity to lead people uses President Buhari to cover his own failures in leadership.
Mr Samuel, however, warned the governor to stop dancing on the graves of innocent citizens with his persistent onslaught on Buhari and Fulani herders.
He said Gov. Ortom has been tolerated enough and he should purge himself of the anti-Buhari and Fulani herders’ sentiments and face genuine governance.
Read the full statement below:
We are pained to pencil down these feelings at a time Nigerians are celebrating the Christian feast of St. Valentine; which is a day globally set aside for the expression of love and brotherhood.
But it has become expedient for us to let out our feelings known to all Nigerians, which are in stout disagreement and stiff opposition to Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom’s habitual and consistent incitement of Nigerians against the Fulani herders. We are equally vexed by his unrestrained verbal assaults on President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which shows scant regard for the person and office of Mr. President.
In the last few days, as done in the past, Gov. Ortom has decided to revive his penchant, umbrage, hate against the Fulani ethnic group and outright incitement of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria against Fulani herders. He has accused the Fulani herders of various unsubstantiated misdemeanours against crop farmers, including bloodshed and sought very foolishly to terminate the traditional occupation of the Fulanis, which is cattle rearing from the face of the earth.
Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG) finds Gov. Ortom verbal assaults on President Buhari and Fulani herders very uncomplimentary, satanic and a grand plot to orchestrate widespread public violence in Nigeria. We find this very unacceptable, especially, as the hateful campaigns are mounted by Gov. Ortom a supposed leader of the people and who by his status ought to be the father of all Nigerians domiciled in the state he governs.
Those in Benue state or the people Gov. Ortom governs knows that each time the demand for the Governor’s stewardship accountability comes up, he resorts to the antics of the sentimental resurrection of the issue of Fulani herders to divert and distract focus on his disastrous leadership of the state. This trick is conveniently used by Gov. Ortom to gain undeserved political milage and favours’. It is what is known to us and Benue people are not deceived either.
We understand Gov. Ortom’s actions and he stops dancing on the graves of innocent citizens of Nigeria. His constant and senseless vociferousness on the issue of Fulani herders and crop farmers for very personal and selfish reasons. Ortom created and natured to blossom, the conflict between idyllic herders and crop farmers in Benue state. These two groups co-existed and practised their occupation in peace and commonality until Gov. Ortom decided to thrust a knife on the fraternity between these twin traditional brothers and friends.
Gov. Ortom is very skilful in deceitfulness and manipulation of the people for his political and economic interests. That’s why he has deliberately refused to address the root causes of the herders-farmers crisis in Benue State because of his political and economic interests. His inactions laced in propagandism have worsened the fragile relationship between Fulani herders and crop farmers across the country.
Gov. Ortom kick-started the farmers-herders crisis with the so-called anti-open grazing law. And since the law came into effect through an Act of the Benue State House of Assembly more than three years ago, Gov. Ortom’s Livestock Guards have seized or confiscated thousands of cattle from Fulani herders under the pretext that they have violated the law. A clause in the anti-open grazing law, which Ortom knows very perfectly, makes provision for the public auctioning of seized cows on the strength of the anti-open grazing law.
But in truth, can Gov. Ortom tell Nigerians where and when he has ever auctioned the cattle confiscated from Fulani herders? There are no such records anywhere. Rather, the seized cattle end up in Gov. Ortom’s Oracle Farms Limited as his personal possession and treasure. We challenge Ortom to publicly disprove us.
Gov. Ortom is a mere opportunist, propagandist and leadership accident on the people of Benue. He has become an emergency herder because there are free cows of Fulani herders to impound through the instrument of state power. Ortom should have been contented with the illegal use of state power on innocent Fulani herders. But to further defame or malign the Fulani herders by labelling them killers and bloodsuckers is very unconscionable.
If herders necessarily kill as propagated by Gov. Ortom, it means, he is also a chief killer himself. Why has Gov. Ortom not explained to the people of Benue and the Nigerians, the identity of the six suspects, including his kinsman and political associate, Alhaji Aliyu Tashaku arrested in connection with the murder of two catholic priests and 17 parishioners at St. Ignatius Quasi Parish, Ukpor- Mbalom community in Gwer-East local government area of the state? Were they Fulani herders? Why is Ortom silent over this incident?
The suspects were charged to a magistrate court in Makurdi. Nobody has heard about the case anymore. Gov. Ortom himself does not talk about it. The principal suspect, Aliyu Tashaku, the former leader of Ortom’s Livestock Guards is a free man now and we cannot determine whether the courts discharged and acquitted him together with the other suspects. There is obviously something which Ortom is trying to hide from the people by making Fulani herders his scapegoats.
Gov. Ortom is a master of doublespeak! Just yesterday, he praised President Buhari for intervening in the farmers/ herders’ crisis. Today he is vilifying the same President and accusing him of complicity in the Fulani herders and crop farmers hostilities. But Ortom has forgotten in his narrow senses that he told Nigerians repeatedly that President Buhari’s intervention through the Nigerian Army’s “Exercise Ayem Akpatema” and “Exercise Whirl Stroke,” which is still in progress brought relief to troubled communities and quenched the conflagrations between herders and farmers.
It’s simple reasoning that if President Buhari is really sponsoring Fulani herders to unleash violence on crop farmers in Benue or anywhere else in Nigeria, he wouldn’t bother to order Military intervention. Let leaders like Gov. Ortom begin to think with their brains; let him wear his thinking cap properly. A leader who reasons and behaves like an infantile is a curse to his generation and the people he is leading.
Whilst President Buhari is doing all within his powers to entrench durable peace between farmers and herders, the likes of Ortom have continued to fuel hatred amongst the people because they gain political benefits from the crisis they create, using Fulani herdsmen. Fulani herders have become targets of attacks everywhere in Nigeria, particularly in Benue because the likes of Gov. Ortom have decided to light the candle of hatred and discrimination against them.
We advise Gov. Ortom to listen to the voice of his colleague-governor, Alhaji Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state. He told Gov. Ortom the gospel truth. He was very articulate and his reasons have no contradictions; it’s a voice of wisdom. If Fulani herders do not make preliminary arrangements for their protection, incensed vampires like Gov. Ortom would finish them.
Ortom has deceived Benue people and Nigerians enough. Let him concentrate on providing genuine leadership to the people who elected him. Leading people is not done by tricks. The person entrusted with the responsibility must commit his mind and soul to it. It is not propaganda; leadership is not a world of fantasy and personal enrichment as promoted by Gov. Ortom in he almost six years of his tenancy in Government House Makurdi.
MBCG finds it incompatible that Gov. Ortom is vocal on traditional and social media platforms about the protection of his people, yet allows the same people massively die every day because of hunger and starvation. Ortom should explain why his personal businesses as symbolized by Oracle Farms Limited are performing maximally, but private businesses of other Benue people are dying or have closed up because of high taxations and other unfriendly government policies.
We want Ortom to tell Nigerians why Benue people are dying of hunger or swimming in poverty while himself and members of his family are buying every land in Benue and building personal fiefdoms. MBCG wants the world to know the insidious evil Gov. Ortom is doing to Benue people but diverts attention from it by playing the card of Fulani herders.
It’s shameful to know that more Benue persons have been killed under Gov. Ortom’s very nose due to lack of salaries and pensions than any other state in the country or even the alleged killings by herdsmen. But he hardly talks about it. He lies freely and thinks, everyone is fooled by his local antics.
We have tolerated Gov. Ortom enough and he should purge himself of the anti- Buhari or Fulani herders’ sentiments and face genuine governance or else, we shall not hesitate to begin to match him word for word, henceforth. Its clear, Gov. Ortom cannot lead people, but we find it repulsive for him to keep using President Buhari to cover his own failures in leadership.
Thank you all and journey mercies back to your various destinations. Happy Valentine’s day to all couples.
Troops Foil Boko Haram Attempts To Infiltrate Dikwa Town
The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have decisively routed elements of Boko Haram Terrorists and their Islamic State of West Africa Province(ISWAP) counterpart who attempted to infiltrate and attack Dikwa town in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.
The terrorist groups who stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles were visited with heavy bombardment and overwhelming firepower by troops of 81 Task Force Battalion with reinforcement from other formations of the Nigerian Army and aided by air support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
The terrorists attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics having got wind of the recent food distribution to residents of the town by the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.
They came in their droves through the Marte axis but could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops who were positioned there.
The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.
In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops.
Consequently, the Army Headquarters wishes to debunk the unsubstantiated reports on social media suggesting that the terrorists attacked UN Base in BORNO, trapping 25 Aid Workers as published by some outlets.
Those false and sensational reports are clearly aimed at stirring up tension in the region and diminishing the glaring efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.
The COAS, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the efforts of the gallant troops’ and the prompt response of the Air Task Force in providing air interdictions throughout the operation.
Apologise To Abia Gov Or Face Recall, Kogi West Youths Tell Adeyemi
A group called Concerned Kogi West Youths has called on the Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to immediately apologise to Abia State governor, Victor Ikpeazu, over his uncomplimentary comment on the latter or face recall from the Senate.
A statement issued by the group and signed Mr Michael Oluwaseun Bolorunduro on Monday said Senator Adeyemi must apologise to the Abia governor and the people of Abia State within seven days or be ready for the consequence.
The youths, however, apologised on behalf of the Kogi West people to Governor Ikpeazu for the “behaviour” of Senator Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during a debate on the Safe School Initiative agaisnt the backdrop of incessant attacks on schools by bandits in the North last week.
“We the concerned Kogi West Youth are writing to apologise for the behaviour of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, recently on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber.
“It took us this long to react or respond to his ungentlemanly attitude because the character trait that he displayed is alien to our culture in Kogi West. We tried to know reasons for such reactions and alas, we couldn’t find any justifiable and sensible reason for such.
“We, too, were personally shocked and offended by his actions and utterances which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good mannerism that we teach in our locality.
“We all know that emotions can get heated, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of our representative,” the group said.
They added that they as “wise constituents” have decided “to right the wrong of the malady and public show of shame as displayed by Senator Smart Adeyemi” to apologise and as well demand apology from Adeyemi.
“It is on this note that we demand that Senator Smart Adeyemi within seven days apologise at the same Hallowed Chamber of the Senate for his uncontrollable utterances against the governor and people of Abia State or face recal,” Bolorunduro declared.
COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine
With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.
Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.
And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.
He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.
The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.
Read the full statement below:
The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.
As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.
But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.
Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.
We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.
We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine
Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.
Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.
NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.
The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.
The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.
Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.
Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.
NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.
Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.
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