Benue News

Group’s Criticism of Ortom’s Handling Of Killings Baseless

When we read comments criticizing Governor Samuel Ortom’s handling of the recent killings in the state attributed to a group which calls itself Middle Belt Conscience Guard we found that they were baseless and unsubstantiated. Indeed, part of the comments indicated that those who made them were ignorant of the nation’s constitutional provisions. Contrary to the claims by the convener of the group, Prince Raymond Enero, and his Deputy, Dr Paul Itodo, at a press conference in Abuja that Governor Ortom’s petition to the President on the security situation in the state amounted to a blame game, the action was appropriate and constitutional. All the security apparatus of the county report to the President who has the constitutional responsibility of ultimate control over them, as such it was necessary for Governor Ortom to report security challenges in the state to him for further and preventive action. In the case of the current killings the Governor made the report six months before the attacks took place. If action had been taken against the masterminds of the attacks what happened could have been averted or nipped in the bud. The accusation that Governor Ortom has supplied arms to members of the Civilian JTF and Livestock based on the claims of some arrested people is ridiculous. His antecedents indicate commitment to the reduction of crime through an amnesty program through which hundreds of illegal weapons and ammunition were seized and publically destroyed in accordance with United Nation’s specifications. The Governor does not arm anyone as he collaborates with the conventional security agencies to fight crime. Anyone who makes any claim to the contrary has the burden of proof. For the information of the group major stakeholders in the state at different fora have expressed satisfaction with Governor Ortom’s proactive security initiatives including the prosecution of an amnesty program, collaboration with the relevant authorities and timely reports to security chiefs, purchase of vehicles, as well as the holding of joint security council meetings with neighboring states. It is clear from their utterances that members of the group who seem to be have been recently formed to act the script of detractors are not familiar with events in the state even as they lack knowledge of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.