I Put My Political Career On The Line So Peace Would Reign

I Put My Political Career On The Line So Peace Would Reign

The immediate past governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said that he is not responsible for the insecurity situation in the state.

He lamented that some financial assistance meant to cater for the needs in the state was denied during his tenure.

The erstwhile governor stated this while responding to his successor Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, who, in an interview, accused his administration of being complicit in the insecurity that ravaged the state.

Ortom insisted that he sacrificed his future political ambition to ensure that enemies did not succeed in annexing the state.

He disclosed this via a statement issued on Sunday by his media aide, Terver Akase.

Ortom boasted that he was the first governor in Benue to tackle the menace of herdsmen with the enactment of an anti-open grazing law and added that at no time during his tenure that youths in the state engage in rustling of cows or kill their people.

The statement read in part, “We find the above statements not only unfortunate but disturbing. Raising such weighty allegations without providing any proof to support the claims sends a rather wrong signal to the rest of the country. Benue people are known as very hospitable and peace-loving citizens of Nigeria.

“It is an incontestable fact that His Excellency Ortom was the first Benue governor who boldly confronted the monster known as armed herdsmen attacks on Benue people which predated his administration.

“He (Ortom) was the first governor to enact a law not only to end open grazing of livestock in all parts of the state but to also introduce ranching as the global best practice of animal husbandry.

“In his eight years as governor, Chief Ortom never accused Benue youths of being cattle rustlers and killers of their people.

”Instead, he encouraged youths of the state to aspire to achieve their dreams, and his administration engaged young people who were willing to complement conventional security agencies as members of the state Community Volunteer Guards.

“The Livestock Guards whom his administration had earlier established as the enforcement agency of the law on anti-open grazing were also made up of hard-working and patriotic Benue youths who, for six years, did a commendable job.

“It is equally imperative to state that Governor Ortom never requested funds from the Federal Government or anyone else regarding the security situation in his state.

“Instead, he made huge sacrifices and put his political career on the line to ensure that enemies of the state did not succeed in taking over the land that they had always wanted to occupy.

“In the process, he was vilified, victimised and the state government was denied several entitlements including funds from bonds, Stamp Duty, SURE-P, and Signature Bonus, among other funds that the state legitimately deserved to benefit.”

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