A group under the aegis of the Forum of Concerned Nigerians, FCN, has cautioned the Federal Government to ensure that nothing dangerous happens to Samuel Ortom, the Benue State Governor, saying any attempt at silencing the Governor will be resisted.
Elder Peter Shande, the spokesman for the group, while addressing a press conference in Makurdi on Monday, July 18, also called on the international community to act on the alarm raised by the Benue State Governor concerning his safety and a rising torrent of violence in Nigeria.
The group pointed out that Governor Ortom has come under a heavy wave of sponsored blackmail and victimization from the Federal Government and its agents, citing a series of instances where Ortom has been severely subjected to media attacks and other forms of threats including attempts to eliminate him.
“We have carefully watched the Buhari administration and its agents serially use the media to threaten and vilify the person and office of the Benue State Governor. This is unacceptable.
“What is Ortom’s offence? Is it a crime to choose to stand with one’s people in the face of brazen injustice, oppression and impunity? Since 2017, Governor Ortom has come under a heavy wave of sponsored blackmail and victimization from the Federal Government and its willing agents,” the group lamented.
“Governor Ortom is one Nigerian who has chosen to be the voice of the voiceless, so any attempt at silencing him will mean an attempt to silence over 200 million helpless Nigerians, and such an attempt will be stoutly resisted.”
“We will not fail to warn the Presidency that we are watching keenly, and nothing must happen to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom,” stressing that the Governor represents the suffering and marginalized people of this country who are being slaughtered like animals by terrorists almost daily.
“Nigeria is in a coma and anyone who is pretending about it is living in self-denial” pointing out that “the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the people of the country and his administration is clearly complicit in the spate of violence across the country and the killing of innocent people.”
The group called on the international community to intervene in the situation saying “We expect the United States, the United Kingdom and other world powers to intervene in the security situation in Nigeria without further delay,” adding that establishing a Special Envoy on Nigeria will be a good place to begin.
Others who signed the press statement presented by Peter Shande were Goodluck Ibem – Umuahia, Fredrick Adebayo – Lagos, Yakubu Ahmed – Kaduna, Tonye Lawson – Port Harcourt, Samson Ochono – Abuja, Timothy Hembaor – Makurdi and Andrew Longyem – Jos.
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