Starrys Obazei

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accused President Buhari’s Federal Government of shielding Fulani criminal gangs that continue to kidnap and kill Nigerians unchallenged.

Ortom pointedly said so with a rhetorical question: “How many of the terrorists and bandits have been apprehended and prosecuted? The Buhari administration cannot extricate itself from complicity regarding the evil visited on citizens of this country.”

He also asked the President to rescue Nigerians from terrorists holding them to ransom.

Mr. Ortom was reacting to a statement by the Presidency on Wednesday, accusing the governor of denigrating Nigeria’s security agencies by claiming that Mr. Buhari ordered security forces not to move against criminal herdsmen.

Benue and most North-central states of Nigeria have been in the grip of armed herdsmen, maiming and killing the locals.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, in a statement, challenged Mr. Ortom to mention those military personnel who told him that Mr. Buhari had ordered security forces not to move against criminal herdsmen.

According to Mr. Shehu, in a period of heightened insecurity, politicians should be working to bring the nation closer together, not risking further violence by ”dishonestly seeking” to further divide Nigerians along ethnic or religious lines.”

But in a statement, on Thursday, by Nathaniel Ikyur, his media aide, Mr. Ortom asked Mr. Buhari and his “government to redeem its battered image by rescuing Nigerians from the apron strings of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists who are having a field day in the country.”

“If I raised a false alarm, why have the Fulani terrorists who are veiled as herdsmen continued to kidnap and kill Nigerians unchallenged? How many of the terrorists and bandits have been apprehended and prosecuted? The Buhari administration cannot extricate itself from complicity regarding the evil visited on citizens of this country,” the statement added.

Caption: Gov. Samuel Ortom

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