The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that if the insecurity challenges in the country persist, there will be no 2023 elections.
Governor Ortom stated this on Tuesday when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He arrived at the Villa unaccompanied and met with the President over issues of insecurity in the country.
He thanked the President for condemning the attack on his farm but said: “there will be no 2023 elections in Nigeria if insecurity persists”.
Briefing journalists after meeting with the President, Governor Ortom disclosed that the nation is sitting on a keg of gun powder without meaningful progress being made on the issue of security.
Speaking on the protection of the constitution, Ortom appealed for the provisions of the constitution to be protected to enable equity, fairness, and justice in the country.
He criticized the issue of impunity in the country which he said has been allowed to fester, thereby urging the Federal Government to immediately prosecute anyone found culpable of breaching the law.
On the question of reports alleging that attacks on his convoy was a pseudo claim, the Governor explicitly appealed to everyone not to politicize the issue of attempted assassination on his person.
He made the emphasis that the attack on his convoy by about 15 gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, while on a visit to his farm was not stage-managed.
While asserting that he has not done anything wrong in enacting an anti-open grazing law beneficial to the state, he said the demand by the cattle breeders association, Miyetti Allah to repel the law would be impossible to fulfill, because it went through due process, hence the matter is clearly beyond him.
He prayed that what happened to him would not be experienced by anyone else. The governor commended other governors, colleagues for standing by him during the attack.
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen last Saturday attacked Governor Ortom at Tyo Mu along Makurdi/Gboko road in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state.
Ortom, who described the gunmen as ‘herdsmen’, said about 15 of the attackers trailed him to the river bank where he was on foot.
The governor praised his security details that were just about six in number for responding quickly to the attack and repelled them promptly before providing cover for him to return to safety and his vehicle.
“My lawyer is going to make a petition against the leadership of MACBAN because they came out to target me and behind the scene, they are planning to eliminate me on my own land,” he said.
“If I can’t go to the farm as governor with entire security around me then who else can go to the farm? You can imagine the pains that we have here in Benue State.
“I appreciate the security personnel attached to me; they were able to repel them and they could not have access to me,” Ortom stated.