How Buhari, VP silence aided killings by Ortom

How Buhari, VP silence aided killings by Ortom

The Senate Ad hoc Committee on Security Infrastructure yesterday expressed shock that President Muhammadu Buhari, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, all ignored several warnings of the planned attack on Logo and Guma local councils of Benue state.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who disclosed efforts to inform the Federal Government of these warnings while meeting with the committee that is investigating the breakdown of security infrastructure in the country, also blamed security agencies for the unabated massacre committed in the state by Fulani herdsmen since 2008.

In the report of the committee’s visit to the state, which was made available to journalists in Abuja, Ortom stated that upon getting information on the planned siege by the Fulani herdsmen he immediately wrote a letter to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was acting president, while Buhari was away for medical treatment abroad.

According to him, all attempts to get the vice president’s attention through the letter failed, as he got no reply whatsoever from him.

Ortom added that Buhari upon his return to the country, was also written to many times, but no reply was also received from him on the issue.

The governor further disclosed that additional efforts were made by the state government to draw the attention of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, through a separate letter, but that also yielded no response.

In his submission to the committee led by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, the governor said: “We wrote to the Vice President on the planned attack on parts of Benue by Fulani herdsmen, because the word was everywhere on the street, but he refused to reply.

“When there was no response, and upon the return of Mr. President, I personally went and intimated him, and also wrote. The documents are here, I will hand them over to you. I wrote to him on the planned attack by Fulani herdsmen because these threats were on the streets,” Ortom stated.

He added that on October 7, 2017, “I wrote to the Inspector General of Police, I told him of a planned attack on our people. When there was no response, on October 27, 2017, I reminded him that these people are planning to attack us, and that we are law-abiding people; we have disarmed our youths, and we are looking onto security agencies. And the way to do it is to arrest those people, who were inciting the herdsmen to combat us, and we knew they were going to come.

“These people were all over the place; on television, in the papers doing various press conferences, and they eventually took us to court. But we felt that it was a crime for anyone to incite people against us for the purpose of killing or causing harm and destruction.

So we expected them (security agencies) to act, but there was no action… I also wrote to the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS). And when there was no action, I followed it up with a reminder on October 27, 2017… Of course the National Security Adviser invited us for a meeting twice, but the meetings were put off,” the state’s chief executive stated.

Guardian

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