Recall that the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu had in a statement issued recently, quoted the President as saying that the security situation in Benue State was aggravated by Governor Ortom’s refusal to accept and work on intelligence given to the Benue governor.
Reacting via a statement issued by its President, Terrence Kuanun, on Thursday in Makurdi, BYF said the statement from the presidency was laughable.
The group berated the president for choosing to compare himself with a state Governor in terms of achievements.
Kuanun said, “Garba Shehu should inform Mr President that more than 200 innocent Benue people have been killed by armed herdsmen in the last two months and President Buhari or any of his appointees have not bothered to visit the state to see the level of devastation caused by the attacks and to console the people.”
He wondered if Governor Ortom’s alleged refusal to treat intelligence as expected was also responsible for the President’s failure to end banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, religious tension and general insecurity especially in the North and his home state of Katsina.
He said, “The President apparently wants Nigerians to believe that states like Kaduna, Plateau, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Borno and others are experiencing massive bloodletting because the governors of those states failed to accept and work on intelligence available to them.
“It is indeed unfortunate that the President has a tradition of blaming others for his colossal failure to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians.”
BYF also expressed worry over President’s celebration of the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections in Benue state, stressing that “mocking Benue people does not in anyway invalidate the fact that Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC used instruments of state to militarize the polls and practically captured the state for their cronies who they believe would subvert the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state to cede land to Fulani pastoralists.”
The group said it was ironic and shameful that “a federal government which cannot protect Nigerians would deploy heavy military presence to Benue state to intimidate the people and ensure that its favorite candidates won the elections.”
BYF warned the governor-elect, Father Hyacinth Alia to be mindful of the fact that “he is seen as an ally of enemies of the state and should be cautious not to mortgage the lives of the people for political convenience and correctness.”
The group also advised the Benue APC to retrace its steps and change the narrative of rationalizing the killings in the state.