President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the attacks that are repeatedly being given to him and his administration by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
He said “lives of fellow citizens should not be desecrated by deploying them in political diatribe, which unfortunately appeared to be the intent of the string of emotional attacks and blame” by Ortom.
The President while speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu. Reminded Governor Ortom that he is committed to the oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizens.
Ortom has accused the president of not showing interest in protecting Nigerians from all the killings happening in the country especially in the Internal Displace Persons, IDP, camps.
The President said it was unfortunate that “our own leaders put region against region, religion against religion, ethnic group against ethnic group and community against the community” in the name of politics.
The President expressed condolences to those who lost their loved ones especially in the recent attacks in the state.
The statement reads: “The President states that the rising levels of incidents, especially the killings and violence in various parts of the country call for further collaboration with security agencies.
“He also states his disappointment and sadness to hear Governor Ortom make a litany of accusations against his person and his government following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.
“No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of military men and innocent citizens taking refuge in an IDP camp.
“President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice.
“The President continuously stresses that the strength of our country lies in our diversity in faith, culture, and traditions and attempts to sharpen the divide between northern and southern Nigeria, between Muslims and Christians, and between communities that have coexisted for centuries should be frowned upon and resisted.
“As Nigerians, we accuse colonial rulers of the policy of divide and rule. Today, it is our own leaders who put region against region, religion against religion, ethnic group against ethnic group, and community against community.
“The future of Benue State and indeed that of the entire country lies in the harmony and the respect for the law, order, and the constitution. It is the only way to achieve progress and development.
“While the President will continue to keep security, police and the armed forces on their toes to be on top of their act in troubled parts of the country, the situation in the states will greatly be helped by everyone working together because that is the foundation on which progress and prosperity can be achieved.
“Benue under the Ortom administration ought to cooperate with the Federal Government in the implementation of a number of national strategic programmes in addressing underlying issues militating against peace, progress, and development.
“This can still get done when the interest of the people is placed above all other interests. A government voted into office by the people, should treat the people as its masters and not as its servants.”
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