As the keynote speaker at the Press Week and Award ceremony of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Enugu, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has berated President Muhammadu Buhari for the failure of governance, even as he blamed him for the challenges and problems plaguing the nation currently.

Governor Ortom described as apt, the theme of the lecture: “Emerging Security Situation in the South East: The Place of Good Governance”,  noting that the event came up at a time “we face a lot of challenges nationwide”.

Governor Ortom, who has been on the frontline in the crusade against the Fulani herders menace observed that “it is evident that the Federal Government has chosen to play double standards in its handling of the security situation as it affects some regions especially the South-East, North Central, South-South and Southwest, while at the same time treating with kid gloves, the menace of killer Fulani herdsmen, bandits and other terrorists in the North East and North West.”

He pointed out that “the speed with which the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and the Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, were arrested confirmed the fact that the Federal Government has the capacity to tackle insecurity with determination and commitment.

“We live in a country today where those who demand equal rights and freedom to end the wave of injustice and marginalisation are hurriedly declared terrorists, while real terrorists who invade communities and kill hundreds of innocent people are pampered and given government protection.”

Ortom noted that “The South East has been at the receiving end of such levels of injustice, impunity and marginalisation.

“Let me make myself very clear. I am not a supporter of violence in any form, neither am I here to justify the violence being witnessed in parts of the East. This is why I condemn in strong terms, the destruction of Federal Government properties such as INEC offices, attacks on police stations, law enforcement operatives and even traditional rulers.

“Such attacks and destruction do not make a positive case for freedom fighters and campaigners for justice. Dialogue remains the best option in any dispute. We must however admit that the ongoing agitations by youths of the South-East are as a result of years of neglect, injustice, unfairness and lack of equity by those who have held this country to ransom.”

Continuing, Ortom stated that “the current Presidency is on record to have levelled weighty allegations and criticisms against the Goodluck Jonathan administration. They even threatened that if they were not allowed to take over power in 2015, “the dog and the baboon would be soaked in blood.

“As you may recall, they also claimed that the fight against Boko Haram was an attack on the north. Perhaps that explains why Boko Haram chose the then Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress as their representative in negotiation with the Jonathan administration.

“These people occupying the Presidency at the moment also blamed the government of Jonathan for failing to tackle insecurity, but today, they are the same people harassing and intimidating Nigerians who speak against their failures.”

He accused the Buhari administration of introducing selective persecution and prosecution of perceived political opponents, adding that “its fight against corruption is only targeted at those who hold alternative views. No matter how corrupt someone is said to be, the moment such a person defects to APC, he becomes a saint. That is why some of my colleagues have already joined them.”

Ortom said that the APC government had been intimidating members of other political parties with EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies.

“For instance, in Benue State, no day passes without one or more appointees of government being invited and intimidated by EFCC simply because I have refused to bow to the strings of threats and harassment from Abuja to betray my people.”





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