By Peters Ichull, Washington DC
Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, has urged the United States government and the rest of the world to hold President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration liable for the recent violence in Nigeria. He made the call while speaking with State Department representatives in Washington, DC.
As evidence that the Presidency and its operatives are after him, Governor Ortom also asserted that President Buhari and his administration should be held accountable if anything were to happen to him. He cited the numerous threats he has been receiving and the attempt on his life in March of last year. He emphasized that individuals who attacked him had not yet faced legal action.
He said that after learning that false narratives were being spread across the world by the administration of Buhari to absolve itself of complicity, he was at the State Department to give the traumatized Nigerian victims’ side of the story.
The Governor said the false narrative of “herder-farmer clashes” was deliberately crafted to delay farmers’ doomsday until they were gradually wiped out and their ancestral lands confiscated, saying “the truth is that farming populations in Nigeria are under siege and are being decimated; agriculture is gradually dying and food security is being threatened”.
In order to prevent migration issues to America and Britain due to their welcoming immigration policies, Governor Ortom warned the world community not to view the instability in Nigeria as a remote issue.
He claimed that over the course of the last seven years, the Buhari administration has failed to do anything to bring about a return to normalcy, resulting in the orphaning of children, the displacement of farmers, and the disruption of schools, hospitals, and social services. He claimed that this punitive neglect has increased the number of internally displaced people in Benue State, which is now at 1.5 million.
The Governor, therefore, called on the United States of America and the rest of the international community to take the following steps to end the spate of violence in the country, especially in Benue state:
*Demand accountability from Buhari’s government on the deaths of innocent citizens.
*Appoint a special envoy to Nigeria to deal with the flashpoint of the violence,
*Ensure that international funding of IDPs gets to Benue State, the epicentre of the current violence as well as Plateau, Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara and other states affected by terrorists’ attacks in the country,
*Encourage the establishment of state police in Nigeria.
Reacting, the US State Department officials headed by the Under Secretary, Africa and Middle East, Padgett Douglas said “the US government was aware of random terrorism, weaponization of religion and importation of violence in Nigeria” adding that since the security of the political system was paramount to the US government, it has set up a conflict bureau to fund IDPs in Nigeria, but he would ensure that such funding does not go to the wrong channels, while promising to make a case for the Benue IDPs and investigate other issues raised by Governor Ortom.