Insecurity: Ortom berates FG for double standards
The Governor of Benue state Chief Samuel Ortom has blamed the federal Government for engaging in double standards in banning the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) and Independent Peoples of Biafra ( IPOB) and yet keeping silent on killer herdsmen.
He also challenged Nigerians to speak with one determined voice to defeat insecurity.
Ortom who was guest speaker at the 2021 press week lecture which was organized by the Nigerian Union of Journalists correspondent’s chapel FCT said the proliferation of arms has further compounded the situation in the country.
He said, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Alhaji Abdullahi Badejo had called Fulani herdsmen to invade Benue state to resist open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to reclaim their land.
He alleged that over 73 people were killed in in January 2018 and the group is yet to be arrested.
This lack of action he said has made the leadership of these violent sociocultural groups to be emboldened.
“This same group also claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt on my life on March 20, this year.
“This has exacerbated the insecurity in the country and is responsible for bloodshed and deep-rooted resentments and secessionist tendencies.
He challenged Nigerians to speak with one voice to defeat evil forces of insecurity threatening peace in the nation.
The Governor said Properties worth N90 billion have been destroyed, adding that the group has claimed 11 local Government Areas resulting to hundreds of deaths in Benue state between 2009 and 2014.
“Boko Haram a terror franchise of militant Islamic groups is responsible for killings, rape, public executions, bombings of public and private property and places of worship and robbery.
“Rising cases of pipeline vandalism by militant groups have affected the country’s economy by depleting the source of revenue of government and oil companies operating in the zone.
He said after the mass burial of 73 victims of the January massacre, the President did not immediately visit Benue State to condole with the people
“Benue people have suffered genocidal and repeated acts of terrorism from known attackers – armed Fulani herdsmen!
“Our people know those who have been attacking and killing them in their sleep and on their farms and ancestral lands.
“However, we have chosen, as law-abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to sustain our belief in the conventional security agencies of this country by not resorting to self-help.
“Unfortunately, we are increasingly coming across as dumb, foolish and helpless in the eyes of many citizens.
“We have maintained that the concern of Benue people is not just with the herdsmen militia, be they Libyans, Boko Haram, ISIS or any other mercenary terrorist force.
“Our concern is also with those who hire the killers as mercenaries; those who bring them and show them our ancestral lands for them to turn into killing fields.
“We have consistently maintained that the arrest and prosecution of leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria would have been the beginning of a semblance of justice for the thousands of people killed, injured, maimed and displaced; and whose property has been destroyed in Benue State by the armed herdsmen and their mercenaries; which escalated since 2013 with the Agatu killings.”
He said in addition to thousands of lives lost, Benue has been thrown into a massive humanitarian and economic crises of enormous proportions during the period of my government.
“Homes, schools, churches, health centres, security posts, roads, bridges, farms and other sources of livelihood have been destroyed. “Over 180,000 of our people were registered in eight officially designated Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in 2018; while over 500,000 displaced people have been living with relatives, in host communities and in uncompleted buildings and public spaces across several Local Government Areas in Benue State.”
Ortom reiterated his stand on the Ranching law which the State had prescribed as panacea for lasting peaceful co-existence between farmers and herders in Nigeria.
“Our ranching Law which prohibits open grazing is Benue people’s reaction to these incessant killings, and an instrument of development.
“It was enacted by representatives of the people in the Benue State House of Assembly, in exercise of its powers as provided for by Section Four (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“Part Two of the Second Schedule reinforces the power of the State House of Assembly providing that “a House of Assembly may make laws for the State with respect to industrial, commercial or agricultural development.”
“The Law followed due process with public hearings and requisite opportunity for all stakeholders, including the herdsmen making inputs.
“Our Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 has the potential to launch Nigeria into 21st century livestock production with international best practice in animal husbandry.
“Today, we live in the 21st century and open grazing is obsolete in most countries of the world. In Europe, America, Asia and in many countries in Africa, pastoralism has long given way to ranching.
“How can Nigeria then, still be battling with a problem of pastoralism that in other countries has been solved over a century ago?
“According to the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, India has 303 million cattle, Brazil, 226 million, China, 100 million, USA, 93 million, Argentina, 53 million and Australia 27 million. All these countries ranch their animals.
“Nigeria has less than 20 million cattle which could also be easily ranched. Unfortunately, the cows are allowed to either roam the streets freely or encroach on people’s farms and other investments creating all sorts of social and economic upheavals.
“Abuja is the only Federal Capital in the world that I know of, where cattle are allowed to move freely and graze on beautification flowers.”
He said ranching policy in Nigeria will provide avenue for both crop farmers and those involved in animal husbandry to increase production using modern technology.
“With arable land of just 2% and population less than 9% that of Nigeria, the Ranches and Animal Husbandry Agriculture subsector of The Netherlands exported meat worth over 21billion EUROs, (about 9 trillion Naira), between 2016 and 2018 only. “Ranching by law and policy therefore, if properly implemented in our country, will also yield similar results and have great positive impact on our economic diversification dreams and our food security. “
The Chairman of the occasion, who is representing Borno South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Ali Ndume, said the issue of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria was caused by political leaders.
He alleged that Nigerian political leaders were paying lip service to the issue of insecurity to cover up their poor governance.
Ndume said, “We need leadership in Nigeria. We are more divided than ever before while the government is spending money on security that is not guaranteed.
“Our leaders are giving excuses and instigating the people against each others”
Ndume also kicked against the idea of state police which Ortom canvassed for saying the governors would mismanage the initiative.
He said, “If we allow the governors to have state police there will be fight and the innocent will be victims”
He lamented that over 10, 000 of his constituents had been chased to Niger Republic, a poor country where over 120, 000 had been taking refuge in the last six years.
Senator Seriake Dickson condemns, calls for cessation of all forms of attacks on the Police
The Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Henry Seriake Dickson, has called for cessation of all forms of attacks on the police as he condemned the series of attacks on police formations in the country.
The immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State spoke when he paid a solidarity visit on the Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Alkali Baba.
The senator unequivocally condemned the attacks and called for a cessation of all such criminal acts.
Dickson said he was at the Force Headquarters to solidarize with the IGP and the entire police family on the account of the dastardly and criminal acts of terrorism, unprovoked and coordinated attacks on Police.
He also condemned the murder of innocent police officers and malicious damage of security assets and other Government infrastructure in some parts of the country.
He said the Police is not the problem of the nation and should not be seen as the enemy of the people.
The Senator, while congratulating the IGP on his appointment as the 21st indigenous Inspector General of Police, called for proper funding of the Force to enhance its operational efficiency.
He commended Police men and women for doing their best in the face of daunting welfare and operational challenges.
The IGP, in his response, thanked the Senator for his visit as he assured him and the Nigerian people that in spite of the numerous challenges the Nigeria Police is facing, it would remain committed and unwavering in its task of protecting lives and property.
NDLEA arrests Ex-vice chairman of Lagos Island East (LCDA) with 1kg of cocain
Ex-vice chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, (LCDA) Asekun Kehinde Sakiru, has been apprehended by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) with 1kg of cocain concealed in five pairs of palm slippers packed inside his suitcase.
He was nabbed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos
Asekun, has been on the wanted list of the agency following the recent arrest of some traffickers and drug seizures linked to him.
Director, Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement on Wednesday, that the long arm of the law caught up with the ex-council boss at about 9.40pm on Friday, May 7, while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic airline flight to London, United Kingdom at the Lagos airport.
Babafemi added that the suspect had been on the wanted list of the MMIA Command of the agency in connection to a case involving one Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim who was arrested with 6.45kg of cocaine in December, 2020.
“During preliminary investigation, it was gathered that the London based baron is a seasoned politician. He was at different times between 2004 and 2014 the vice chairman of Lagos Island East LCDA. He had also contested and lost elections for House of Representatives in 2007 and Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015.
Although, he claims to be an international businessman who deals in automobiles, investigation is yet to confirm that to be the source of his acquired wealth.
“In the course of tracking him, the sum of N131million was seized from his account and another N14 million also blocked in the account of one of his traffickers, Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, bringing the total sum so far recovered from him to N145 million”, part of the statement read.
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA Command of the agency for resilience and dedication to duty, Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), said with the support of all stakeholders, the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in Nigeria will be drastically reduced very soon.
“This arrest is yet another message and red alert to those still in this criminal trade whether as barons or traffickers that they will soon enter the dragnet of the Agency, daily being spread across the country, if they fail to back out especially now that we are moving all out for the barons and the big cartels while we continue to reign in the traffickers”, Gen. Marwa warned
Insecurity will soon fizzle out, says IGP
The Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has admitted that the nation’s security ecosystem is being challenged, but restated his belief that the nation will soon overcome its security challenges.
He reassured the citizens that the Force under his new policing vision is already implementing new, improved, tailored-to-suit and robust security solutions aimed at tackling crimes and neutralizing both existing and emerging security threats in the country.
He spoke as he ordered a nationwide deployment of police officers and other operational assets of the Force for water-tight security ahead of the 2021 Eid-el-Fitr celebration and beyond.
His order was contained in a directive to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs) and other strategic commanders of the Force as part of efforts by the Police leadership toward stabilizing security, improving public safety and making the country a safer place for all citizens.
The IGP, further noted that the Force is equally upscaling its collaboration with the military and other law enforcement agencies in both intelligence sharing and other target-oriented missions and operations. He enjoined citizens to support the Police to stage a common front in tackling the challenges.
In addition, the IGP reminded the citizens of the newly introduced Phase-4 National Response on COVID-19 Health Protection Regulation and called for voluntary compliance with the protocols. He equally directed Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ensure full enforcement of the Protocols. He however warned that Police officers deployed for such enforcement must do so with utmost professionalism, while exhibiting compassion, decorum and due respect for the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Meanwhile, the IGP, on behalf of the entire officers of the Nigeria Police Force, congratulated all Muslim faithful in the country as they join the Muslim Ummah across the globe to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr. He urged them to internalize the virtues and teachings of Ramadan in their day-to-day endeavours and admonished all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of obedience to the laws of the land and the pursuit of common good.
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