Benue Youth Forum has described President Muhammadu Buhari blame passing on Governor Samuel Ortom on killings in the Benue state by herdsmen as a gross failure of a president.
The group’s president, Terrence Kuanum, in his statement said Buhari’s statement that Ortom does not act on security intelligence is disappointing and unfortunate.
The group also asked whether the governors Kaduna, Plateau, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Borno do not act on intelligence report from security agencies, hence the killings in their state?
The statement reads: “The Benue Youth Forum, BYF has read with utter shock and disappointment a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari wherein he blamed Governor Samuel Ortom for the Federal Government’s inability to protect lives and property in Benue state.
“In the said statement by the loquacious Garba Shehu, the President claims that the security situation in Benue state was aggravated by Governor Ortom’s refusal to accept and work on intelligence given to the Benue governor.
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“What was most laughable about the statement is how the President would choose to compare himself with a state Governor in terms of achievements. And talking about achievements, perhaps the President needs to be reminded that no federal road is motorable in any part of Benue State as we speak. His administration has abandoned the state in every aspect of development.
“Garba Shehu should inform Mr President that more than 200 innocent Benue people have been killed by armed herdsmen in the last two months and President Buhari or any of his appointees have not bothered to visit the state to see the level of devastation caused by the attacks and to console the people.
“BYF wonders if Ortom’s alleged refusal to treat intelligence as expected is responsible for the President’s failure to end banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, religious tension and general insecurity especially in the North and his home state of Katsina.
“The President apparently wants Nigerians to believe that states like Kaduna, Plateau, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Borno and others are experiencing massive bloodletting because the governors of those states failed to accept and work on intelligence available to them.
“It is indeed unfortunate that the President has a tradition of blaming others for his colossal failure to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians.
“Also worrisome is the President’s celebration of the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections in Benue state. But mocking Benue people does not in anyway invalidate the fact that Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC used instruments of state to militarize the polls and practically captured the state for their cronies who they believe would subvert the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state to cede land to Fulani pastoralists.
“Buhari should be aware that Benue people are still standing tall despite the militarization of the elections and would not be cowed by the antics of enemies of the state.
“It was ironic and shameful that a federal government which cannot protect Nigerians would deploy heavy military presence to Benue state to intimidate the people and ensure that its favorite candidates won the elections.
“The Benue Youth Forum also expects the governor-elect to be mindful of the fact that he is seen as an ally of enemies of the state and should be cautious not to mortgage the lives of the people for political convenience and correctness.
“We call on the Benue APC to retrace its steps and change the narrative of rationalizing the killings in Benue state and desist from accusing the people of killing their loved ones.
“We once again state our resolve to stand by the law banning open grazing in Benue state and maintain our commitment to legally resisting any attempt to tamper with the law and pave way for land grabbers and merchants of death to have a field day in the state.”