•Asks Buhari to defend democracy that brought him to power
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has raised another alarm of a plot by Fulani herdsmen to attack the state.He declared this yesterday at the Government House, Makurdi in a media interaction.In a state broadcast, which he called “sponsored impunity in Benue,” he said some indigenes of the state, including a serving senator, have been mobilised to mastermind the killings.He said they resorted to this: “Having failed to achieve their anti-Benue objectives so far.”
The governor disclosed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was currently investigating his security votes.He said so far, he is the only governor in Nigeria, whose security votes are being investigated by the anti grafts body.He quoted the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina’s recent statement on Channels Television to question the EFCC action.
Adesina had allegedly said: “I doubt, the world over, if any government would come to say this is how much we have spent on security. Can you quantify the amount of one life? It is not something that any government will begin to disclose.” Ortom said if the EFCC wanted a genuine investigation of security votes’ spending, they should have started from the presidency and across the 36 states.
According to him: “If their focus is on Benue State, they should have started from 1999. But this is not the case, even with the enormous security challenges in the state since my assumption of office.
The governor explained that the security votes’ spending being investigated is from 2015 to 2018, which marked a period of grave security challenges in the state, adding: “I reiterate that the investigation is a clear case of persecution.“I have not misappropriated, diverted or stolen any money. I have nothing to hide. I assure you that the investigators cannot find anything incriminating against me.”
On the crisis rocking the state House of Assembly, he enjoined the people to resist any attempt by any person, or group of persons to destabilise the state.“How can eight opposition members, including the suspended former speaker of the House suspend 22 members? Does this make sense?
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to protect the democracy that brought him to power, by directing the police and other security agencies to respect the rule of law.“Impunity is dangerous and destructive. Its negative effects on people and institutions could be very far reaching. If unchecked, its unexpected consequences will consume all, including those deploying it as an instrument of power,” the governor warned.
He added that the police, acting on “directives from above” had also chased away workers of the state assembly who reported for work,” in flagrant disregard to a subsisting court order, adding: “This is unacceptable.”