President Muhammadu Buhari has lambasted Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom after the Governor called out the President for the way he is handling the nation’s security challenges.
The President accused Ortom of seeing what is wrong with others but failing to deal with his own problems.
He accused Ortom of attempting to cause more divide along ethnic, political, and religious divides rather than cooperate with the federal government to implement ideas and solutions.
Buhari made the submission in a statement released by his spokesman Garba Shehu titled: “GOVERNOR ORTOM ONLY SEES THE PROBLEMS OF OTHERS, HE DOESN’T SEE HIS OWN”.
It will be recalled that Governor Ortom while reacting to the recent killing of 70 people in Benue State had said President Buhari is acting aloof and tactically supporting the herdsmen to kill other people.
Ortom also urged Buhari to declare a state of emergency and address Nigerians over the increasing cases of insecurity including kidnappings, banditry and other criminal activities rocking the country.
But in a response to the call out by the Benue State Governor, President Buhari lashed at Ortom, accusing him of falling short of expectation as a leader.
Buhari however condoled with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack, noting that his administration will not treat issues affecting security and human lives with kid gloves as he took an oath to protect every Nigerian.
According to Shehu, “Buhari expressed disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom make a litany of accusations against his person and his government of following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.
While he expressed his condolences to the families of the dead, Buhari called for further collaboration by the states with security agencies to curb the recurring violence.
“No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp”, Buhari said.
He said ”he 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.
Buhari said the 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 laid at his doors for those killings by Governor Ortom.
Buhari said he took an oath to defend the life and property of every citizen, a duty he takes seriously and is committed to ensuring.
“Those citizens regardless of their affiliations, who either incite, sponsor or are proven to be abettors of these atrocities will face the law squarely and be answerable for their crimes against our fellow citizens and nation.
President Buhari stressed that the strength of our country lies in our diversity in faith, culture, and traditions.
He said 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 harmony and the respect for law, order, and the constitution. It is the only way to achieve progress and development.
Buhari said while he 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 strategies programs 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”.