Dan Ali and Ortom Senate Appearance -By Ifeanyi Emeka

Filed under: Political Issues |

The Nigerian National Assembly


There is no doubt that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has chosen to play politics of 2019 more than showing leadership which governance required of him.

He has been moving from pillar to post in search of elusive solution to the problem he created. As a result, he has been trying to make the people believe that he is a victim of circumstance whereas he indirectly caused the crisis through some shallow policies.

The governor failed to tell the simple truth about the Benue crisis. And the simple truth is that he is the chief architect of the problem by using his robber stamped State House of Assembly to enact anti-grazing law leading to the blockade of the nation’s grazing route in the state which made it impossible for herdsmen to move freely with their cattle.

While appearing before the Joint Senate Committee on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence, the governor made some unfounded allegations against some top government functionaries among which is the Minister of Defence, retired General Mansur Dan Ali. In his submission, the governor said: ”The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali attributed the Benue killings to blockade of grazing routes and implementation of ranching law. His position is misleading and dishonest. We hope that his position is not that of the Federal Government.”

While mischievously blaming the Federal Government, the Governor also said: ”Over 100, people killed in Benue would not have died if security agencies were responsive. None of the letters to the Presidency was replied.”

The question is, was the governor elected to write letters to the presidency or to govern the people right irrespective of tribe or religion?

What happens to the governor’s power as the Chief Security Officer of the state?

What happens to his huge security votes?

While not holding brief for the Minister of Defence or the Presidency, the governor lied by denying knowledge in the existence of state militia funded by the government to implement the new anti-grazing

The anti-grazing law is the immediate cause of the conflict and the governor should own the responsibility which his thoughtless action caused the state instead of looking for who to blame.

The earlier he reverses the policy and allow herdsmen to move through their own route until necessary arrangements are made for cattle ranching the better.

Laws are made to promote human dignity, cohesion and togetherness and not to segregate against any tribe or region.

We are all Nigerians who deserve to live in all parts of the country in peace. This decision must be made out of choice and not out of necessity.

Therefore, the governor should stop blaming the Minister of Defence and find lasting solution to the crisis he caused.

Ifeanyi Emeka is on fact finding mission to Benue State.