Leave Gov Ortom alone, address national issues raised – Benue youths to Buhari govt

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On Thursday the Benue Youth Forum, BYF has asked Nigerians to caution the presidency against its constant attack on Governor Samuel Ortom over his comments on the state of the nation.

It was reported that the presidency led by the Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu and the Benue governor had recently engaged in a war of words.

Trouble began when Governor Ortom granted an interview on Television where he alleged shortcomings of the Buhari-led government particularly on security and the economy.

Governor Ortom had in the interview, said Nigeria is witnessing the highest level of corruption in its history under President Buhari, stressing that the nation’s economy has collapsed following inflation, unemployment and poverty which according to him, has rendered citizens destitute.

But Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s spokesperson, in reaction to the interview accused Ortom of abandoning his primary responsibilities in the state to focus on attacking the President.

Garba accused Ortom of owing the highest salary arrears of civil servants in Nigeria.

In reaction to the recent spat between the presidency and Ortom, Benue youths, in a statement issued by its president, Terrence Kuanum on Thursday, asked the presidency to apologize to all Nigerians for attacking those speaking out on the nation’s reality.

The youths also warned the presidency to leave Ortom alone, saying the governor is not responsible for the Federal Government’s misfortunes.

The statement reads, “Governor Ortom remains one of the strong voices of helpless Nigerians who are victims of impunity, marginalization and injustice being perpetrated by the Buhari regime. He is a true patriot who has constantly challenged the Federal Government to fulfil its promises to provide security for the people, end corruption and fix the economy.

“Instead of responding to the burning issues of national interest raised by the Benue State Governor, the Presidency, through the loud-mouthed and unprofessional Garba Shehu elected to attack the person of the Governor.

This is evidence of crass ineptitude, brazen impunity, shocking docility and laughable failure exemplified by the Buhari administration.

“Why has the Presidency not responded to Governor Ortom on the fact that under its watch, Nigeria is witnessing the highest level of corruption in the country’s history? Why has the Presidency not faulted Governor Ortom on his statement that the nation is experiencing the worst spate of insecurity since its independence? Why has the Presidency not proven Governor Ortom wrong on the glaring reality that the economy has collapsed with inflation, unemployment and poverty hitting an all-time high with millions of Nigerians rendered destitute?

“Why has the Presidency not countered Governor Ortom that under Buhari, Nigerians are more divided than at any other time in the history of the country with nepotism elevated and the people told to go to hell? Why has the Presidency not proven the Benue State Governor wrong on his statement that it accords preference to cattle over human life?

“Has President Buhari not gone on national television many times to insist that cattle routes must be created in parts of the country to grant easy passage to the animals?

“The above are only a few of the issues Governor Samuel Ortom has constantly raised on behalf of millions of Nigerians who do not have a voice. We, therefore, expected the Presidency to respond specifically to those issues and not castigate the Governor.

“It is crystal clear that the Buhari administration has failed and is now in desperate need of whom to blame for its self-inflicted woes. The speed with which it descends on Nigerians who dare to speak out against its evil agenda amounts to the kicks of a dying horse.

“We advise the Presidency to leave Governor Ortom alone. The Governor is not responsible for the failure of the present government at the centre. The Presidency has the option of apologizing to Nigerians for its inability and deception.

“In the meantime, we restate our solid stand behind our Governor, Samuel Ortom in his unmistakable presentations on national issues and the recommendations he often makes for the way forward. This is democracy anchored on constitutional laws and no longer military decrees! The Federal Government must allow Nigerians the freedom to express their views on issues affecting them.

“We call on all patriots to caution the Presidency to desist from attacking those who make their opinions public on issues. President Buhari was elected to serve the entire country not only the interest of a few. We will not fold our arms and watch the sustained campaign of hatred that the government of Muhammadu Buhari has waged against the person of Governor Ortom.

“Lastly, we wish to remind Garba Shehu and other enemies of Nigeria that posterity is the judge. They should remember the evergreen words of the late renowned journalist Dele Giwa when he said in 1984, “Any evil done by man to man will be redressed, if not now, then certainly later, if not by man, then certainly by God, for the victory of evil over good can only be temporary.”

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