Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom, escaped death by the whiskers in a peaceful protest that turned violent staged by the National Union of Benue State Students, NUBESS, in protest against the killing of 50 innocent people of the state by armed Fulani herdsmen.
The protest which was later hijacked by hoodlums, started at about 7 O’clock in the morning and lasted for over five hours as irate youths made bonfires and blockaded the Wurukum roundabout that links the state to both the North and Southern parts of the country.
The situation forced travellers to become stranded in the scorching sun as some drivers had to take their passengers into the bush for cover until the situation became calm.
It took security men several hours to dislodge the protesters who carried various placards bearing inscriptions such as: “PMB act now or lose our votes in Benue”, “We are tired of burning our loved ones, Fulani must leave”, PMB must come down himself” among others and shouting “No going back”.
But hours later, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama led his men to dismantle the road blocks and disperse the protesters shortly after which Governor Ortom, in company of top government functionaries and security aides stormed the area as he trekked from Mr. Biggs roundabout to Wurukum roundabout to address them.
Speaking to newsmen, National President Ihyerev Youth Association. Hon. Ben Titus Terna decried the nonchalant attitude shown by the Federal government over the senseless killings in the state describing it as a grand conspiracy against Benue people.
“The President has remained adamant. We are defenceless and have resorted to defending ourselves. We will continue to stage this protest for seven days. We want the entire world and international community to come to our aid”, said Titus.
Governor Ortom who cut short the Security Council meeting, headed straight to the scene of the protest, but his attempt to address the protesters was vehemently resisted as the youths started throwing stones, empty water sachets and logs of wood at him while some thunderously booed the governor whose attempts to calm the angry youths proved abortive.
But security men responded swiftly and whisked the Governor out of the riotous situation in a Hilux van just as Policemen shot live bullets and tear gas canisters into the air to disperse the crowd.
Addressing Journalists at the banquet hall of Government House, the governor expressed concern at the anger of the people but urged them to remain calm.
He assured them that government is proactive in securing the lives and property of the people, reiterating that there is no going on the Anti- prohibition law.
“There is no alternative to ranching. I pray with the people not engaged in a reprisal attack. Let us remain law-abiding.”Orton urged.
Governor Ortom restated his call on security agencies to arrest leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautai Hore who have vowed to thwart the anti-open grazing law.
“They are sabotaging the law. The Federal government should rise to the responsibility and arrest leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautai Hore. If they do not do this, then they are telling us that we are not part of Nigeria. They are trying to throw us into a state of anarchy. This is unacceptable. Justice will take it cause. Meanwhile, we have requested for deployment of more security in Makurdi and its environs. We will get to the root of the matter and so, nobody should take the law into its hands. Any gathering of any sort is allowed in Makurdi without permission of the Commissioner of Police”, Ortom warned
Tinubu’s Letter: Oyegun meets Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari met with John Odigie-Oyegun, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Friday afternoon over the crisis rocking the party.
Recall that Mr Tinubu had written a letter to Odigie-Oyegun accused the chairman of sabotaging the reconciliation assignment given to him by the president.
Odigie-Oyegun arrived the presidential villa at 3 pm and left 50 minutes later after meeting with Buhari.
He did not speak to the media, walking briskly away as soon as he saw journalists approaching him.
Apc must be held responsible for the killings in Nigeria- Secondus
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should be held responsible for the killing of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
Addressing party members at the Finbarrs Road secretariat Umuahia, Secondus said at the beginning of a three-day working visit to Abia State that “We must blame the federal government of APC for misinformation, inability to protect lives and property.”
The PDP National chairman who was received on arrival by the state chairman, Chief Johnson Onuigbo and members of the state working committee, also alleged that everything has collapsed under the government of APC. “All has collapsed, no fuel, herdsmen are given license to kill.”
According to him, “the PDP is on a rescue mission; APC is divided, they have no mission, they have no vision. They are playing games with hunger, enough is enough.”
He expressed confidence in the government of Okezie Ikpeazu saying PDP was working with fear of God and the support of the people. He disclosed that he was talking with some APC Governors especially those in the North East saying that were on their way to PDP. “I have talked with Governors in the North Central; they are on their way to PDP,” he said.
He also disclosed that no PDP Governor has any intention of leaving the party. “All PDP Governors are intact and in agreement with the party. No rumours again. Nigerians are in the mission of recovering the country. Even market women know that APC has collapsed.”
The PDP chairman later inspected some ongoing projects of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu including the Umuda Insingwu Erosion control site in Umuahia North council area, Abia Investment House, Ogwurube layout, among others, in company of the Governor and Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) and Mao Ohuabunwa(Abia North)
Dapchi Girls: Hold Buhari responsible for abduction…Accuses FG of lying to Nigerians
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to hold President Muhammadu Buhari-led Presidency directly responsible for the abduction of schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe state and several other atrocities committed by insurgents against citizens, particularly in the northern part of the country.
PDP in a statement said the Buhari Presidency has put Nigerians at risk by deceiving the people and issuing false performance indices suggesting that insurgents have been completely routed out; a situation the party said has made unsuspecting citizens trust the lies and dropped their guards in the face of real threats and danger.
The statement reads; “Without doubt, if the incompetent All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government had not dished out lies to the people in a bid to score cheap political points for its ill-lucked 2019 re-election bid, more precautionary measures would have been adopted by the affected communities to ensure adequate protection.
While Nigerians are appalled by APC’s recourse to false indices in critical sectors, it is however, to say the least, an inexcusable height of wickedness to give a vulnerable people a false assurance of security when they are actually in danger.
“Furthermore, the PDP decries as iniquitous, the efforts by APC-controlled federal authorities to suppress information on the abduction, leading to conflicting reports and frustrating of the rescue mission, just because they seek to hide the failures of the presidency in ensuring the safety of Nigerians, particularly in the north.
“We were shocked that in their proclivity to deceive, the authorities earlier informed Nigerians that some of the girls have been recovered only for the news to turn out to be false.
“While President Buhari has not uttered any word of assurance, Government’s visiting team headed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed only had a whistle stop at the Dapchi school and made no effort to interface or even commiserate with community leaders and parents of the abducted girls, while completely shutting out the media. This only further confirms APC’s insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians.
“It is more irking that the President and Commander-in-Chief will publicly provide a day an asymmetry war will come to an end as if acts o the insurgency are fought like a conventional warfare.
“It is painful that Nigerians are faced today with a government that has been heavy on propaganda and issuing of false statistics, while playing down on several atrocities committed against defenseless citizens.
“Under the PDP, Nigerians were never told lies on the true situation of the state of affairs in all sectors, particularly security. The PDP-led government constantly briefed Nigerians and carried all stakeholders along in our concerted effort in securing lives and property in our nation.
“Nigerians and indeed the world must hold the Buhari Presidency and the APC-led Federal Government directly responsible for the abduction of these defenseless schoolgirls as well as the killings in our country today.”
The PDP said it stands with the parents of the abducted girls at this moment of their harrowing pains and prays for their speedy return.
The party equally implore security forces to insulate themselves from APC propaganda, take very decisive professional steps to recover the girls and end the killings in the country.
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