2023 general elections may not hold if insecurity persist — Ortom

2023 general elections may not hold if insecurity persist — Ortom

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The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has denied faking his attack by unknown gunmen on his way to his farm.

FILE: PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI (LEFT) AND GOVERNOR SAMUEL ORTOM OF BENUE STATE (RIGHT)

Ortom’s convoy was attacked on Makurdi/Gboko road in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue on Saturday.

The Governor made the prediction while addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja.

Ortom, lamented however that the 2023 general elections may not hold if the security situation in Nigeria persist.

He said: “2023, yes, to a politician is not far but is still a long way. If we secure our country, and everything is working fine, then we can talk about 2023.

“But the way things are going, if we don’t secure the country, there is no way we can be talking about 2023. That is why I’ve always dismissed people who come to me to say that you’ll contest this you’ll contest that. For me, I want us as leaders of this Country, we have taken an oath of office, let us abide by those things we have said, and work together as a team, leave politics aside. Leave ethnicity aside, but secure the Country, Nigeria.

“We have no other country other than Nigeria. We cannot go to Cameroon or Senegal or any other place and so, my appeal to everyone is to ensure that we work together, security matters are not just for the security agencies alone.”

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Ortom repeated assertion that despite the threat to his life, the anti-grazing law which, he said, was working in the state, would not be repealed.

He admitted that through the anti-grazing law, normalcy has returned to the state with some arrests made and others prosecuted under the law.

“So far, we have done very well. The law has arrested more than 500 people. More than 200 people were prosecuted and convicted with more than 13,000 herds of cattle arrested and the fines were paid, and they were released. And we have no problem with killing anybody anyhow in Benue State.

“And that is one of the things that I am saying that those people will think that they own this country should be apprehended and prosecuted or otherwise will begin to think that they are sacred cows. Miyetti Allah, FUNAM and all those ones, they are responsible, creating problems all over the place by what they say,” he said.

Similarly, the Nigerian military says it has destroyed the makeshift camps belonging to bandits who attacked the Benue State Governor’s convoy.

The Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Maj.-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini said this on Tuesday when he led troops to comb the forest mounted surveillance around areas considered to be security flashpoints in the State.

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He told journalists at the scene of the attack near Tyo-mu on Makurdi-Gboko highway that troops had been deployed in the area and are currently combing the forest, which serves as a hideout for the assailants.

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