Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has levelled a damming allegation against the president Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government concerning the perennial insecurity that plagues the country.
Ortom claimed that security operatives told him that Buhari directed them to leave killer herdsmen alone.
In an interview with ICIR published on Monday, the Benue governor claimed he received confidential information from top security personnel that the regime had ordered them not move against the killer herdsmen.
Ortom’s claim could not be independently verified.
“I have spoken to some security men who told me the federal government gave them directive that they do not have to move against these Fulani men,” the Benue governor claimed.
He added, “That is why I keep saying that the federal government’s action and inaction clearly show that they are complicit in the criminality that is going on in Nigeria. They call them bandits because they do not want people to call them Fulani herdsmen.”
Ortom, a former ally-turned-critic of Buhari’s regime, further claimed that he would have taken up arms to lead the fight against killer Fulani herdsmen in Benue if he were not a child of God.
“If I were not a child of God, if I did not believe in being lawful, if I did not have respect for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I would have taken arms myself to go there and fight,” Mr Ortom asserted. “Because this impunity is too much. They (Fulani herdsmen) think that as their brother is there, nothing will happen to them, and they do anyhow and go scot-free.”
Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu had accused Ortom of instigating an ethno-religious crisis similar to what happened in Rwanda.
Ortom is a fierce and relentless critic of the Buhari government, especially as it concerns the deepening security crisis in the country. He has accused the government of aiding and abetting the herdsmen in carrying out what appeared like a land grabbing mission by exterminating the indigenes in Benue communities.
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