…Fulani herdsmen have hidden agenda, Ortom insists
By Hassan Zaggi (Crime Editor), Abuja & Austine Tule, Makurdi
Angered by the level of insecurity in the country, a coalition of 68 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), have insisted that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has woefully failed the over 200 million Nigerians.
The Coalition made its position known in a statement titled: ‘National Security: Buhari & Governors Have So Far Failed, on Sunday.
The group insisted that the Buhari government has failed in its primary duty of providing security and ensuring the welfare of all Nigerians as stated in Section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution.
While advising the President Buhari-led government to sit up, take measurable steps and provide both political and moral leadership that will end the current high level insecurity in the country, the Coalition in the statement listed its demands to include: “The Nigeria Police Council established by section 153 of the Constitution is constituted by the President, IGP, Chair of Police Service Commission and the 36 state governors. The NPC is empowered by the Construction to administer organise and supervise the Nigeria Police Force. The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity
“End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence;
“Amnesty for terrorists and abductors should stop. Huge ransom paid to criminal gangs is used to purchase arms and ammunition to attack communities. As security is technology driven the Government must acquire the necessary equipment to deal with the menace of terrorism, banditry and abduction.
“Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
“Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
“Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
It further lamented that hundreds of Nigerians including children in all parts of the country are killed and others abducted on a daily basis by criminals and terrorists with the government doing little or nothing to address the situation.
“Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent. Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperised by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government’s standard state policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.
“President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people,” the group insisted.
In another twist, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has challenged the Federal Government and other Nigerians with contrary views over his submissions on constant herdsmen attacks and other issues bedeviling the country to a national debate.
Ortom insisted that Fulani herdsmen had a hidden agenda of over-running Benue and other parts of the country for economic and political reasons stressing he had a mandate to resist same with the last drop t his blood.
According to the governor, Benue equally had no land to accommodate fleeing herdsmen from any part of the country as was recently canvased in some quarters.
Ortom who maintained he had no apology speaking the truth to Nigerians especially those in positions of authority further challenged those with opposing views to present themselves either on Television or radio to advance better ways on how best to tackle the farmers/herder’s skirmishes under his sponsorship.
Ortom spoke in his country home Tse- Adorogo, Nzorov in Guma Government Area of the State at the burial of his uncle, late Pastor Samuel Atule at the weekend.
Ortom said it was unfortunate that some Benue elites had stooped low to trade off the state for purposes of winning elections declearing that such person’s ambition were dead on arrival.
He maintained that he was never going to be intimidated so long his actions were being back by those who voted for him and urged the federal government to treat all segments of the country fairly.
Meanwhile, the youth in Niger State have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the state government to rescue the abducted school children or face their wrath.
This was in reaction to the abduction of students of Kagara Government Science Secondary School, few days ago.
At a briefing in Minna, the youth under the aegis of the National Youth Council of Nigeria also demanded the immediate release of 21 commuters abducted along Minna-Zungeru road.
“Today in Niger State, not less than 10 local governments are either facing kidnapping or banditry of various forms.
“This is becoming unbearable and unacceptable,” the youth group insisted.
The youth also charged the government to “sit up” and provide adequate security of lives and property of Nigerians in all parts of the country.
In another development, the youths from Oviri Ogor community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State have defied all odds and rescued their kidnapped female teacher from her abductors.
According to findings, the teacher, said to be teaching Geography, reportedly fell into the waiting arms of her abductors at about 12 noon few days ago when she resumed for the afternoon session.
Sources said she was grabbed and bundled into her car and whisked away while some students who were looking thought they were watching a movie.
On seeing what happened, the students of the school and the youth of the community swiftly mobilised others, raised the alarm and gave the abductors a hot chase.
“When we saw the two men, we initially thought that they were parents who had come to enroll their wards for the ongoing JSS 3 examination.
“We never knew that they were kidnappers. The students had to raise the alarm which attracted youths of the community and after a hot chase, they abandoned the teacher a few kilometers away from the school premises.
“Her Toyota Camry rear windscreen was destroyed and recovered, but her bag containing mobile phones and other items were taken away by the kidnappers,” our source said.
Meanwhile, a major feat was achieved during the weekend when Somali National Army (SNA) said that it had killed more than 50 al-Shabaab members, including two senior commanders in an operation in the lower Shabelle region.
According to reports, the military operation against the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated terror group took place in Mushaani, Daniga, and Majabta.
Army Chief of Staff Odawa Yusuf Rageh told a military radio during the weekend that the terrorist killed included Moalim Bukhari, the group’s intelligence chief in lower Shabelle and Sheikh Hasan Ganeey, the commander in the region.
He disclosed that the al-Shabaab training camps in villages were also destroyed
He revealed that at least 20 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in a military operation in the region last week Thursday.