A group known as the Middle Belt Renaissance Group has faulted the arrest and detention of former governor of Benue state,Rt Hon. Gabriel Suswam by Department of State Services (DSS) even as it demanded reasons for his arrest.
The group made the demand during a press conference held in Abuja yesterday.
The President general,Middle Belt Renaissance Group ,Barr. King Onoja described the arrest as the height of corruption and immorality under a leadership that claims to be fighting corruption.
Barr.King further described the arrest as “the height of rigging and wickedness by those that are opportuned to be around the corridors of power today as the action sends negative signals to all men of goodwill”.
He said the arrest follows a pattern of disrespect for constitutional rights and civil liberties of the Nigerian citizen by the security agencies.
He revealed that though the DSS had stated the reasons for Suswam’s arrest and detention, the group has realised that the arrest is connected to a petition by some highly placed politicians in Benue alleging he is harbouring Mr Terwase Agwaza a.k.a Gana and for sponsoring killings in the state.
The group however, described the allegations as a ploy by the federal government to distract Benue people from its failure to protect lives and property.
“We see these allegations as a ploy to distract the people of Benue state from the inability of its clueless and incompetent government to protect them by seeking to hand accusations for crimes on real or perceived political enemies as a basis to use the instruments of state a weapons for harassment and intimidation,” he said
The group further called on the DSS to immediately “inform Rt Hon. Gabriel Suswam and indeed the entire country of the reasons for his arrest and detention as provided for by section 36 of the constitution”.
The group is also asking the DSS to grant Suswam access to his lawyers as soon as possible as provided for by the constitution,adding that he should also be charged before a competent court of jurisdiction as quickly as possible so that he can defend himself of all the allegations leveled against him.
Benue Gov Gives Conditions For Ranching
Benue state governor,Samuel Ortom has said that the state’s acceptance of the recent pronouncement of ranching establishment in 10 states including Benue by the federal government will be based on the provisions in the already existing Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching establishment Law 2017, of the state.
Governor Ortom who made this known during the inauguration of Chairmen and members of board of parastatals also accused members of his cabinet of being the major challenge his administration is facing
“I want to tell you outrightly that the biggest challenges my administration is facing is the inability of my aides to stand firm and defend this administration when the need arises, all those surrounding me have abandoned me, they are not helping me in any way”.
While commiserating with Governor Simon Lalong and the entire people of Plateau State over renewed attacks in the state by herdsmen which have left many innocent people dead and property worth millions of naira destroyed, Ortom said the perpetrators of the dastardly act must be brought to book.
Governor Ortom also condemned the attacks and describes the killing of children, women and other vulnerable people in Barkin Ladi as barbaric, inhuman and unfortunate.
He furhter urged security agencies to arrest for prosecution, the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association who have claimed responsibility over the Plateau killings.
Governor Ortom assured Governor Lalong that Benue people will continue to stand with the people of Plateau in prayers until the orgy of violence over the state and other parts of the Middle Belt is brought to an end.
2019: Biem Promises To Reverse Benue Underdevelopment
A retired Permanent Secretary,Bureau of Internal Affairs and Special Services, Benue State, Mr. Hingah Biem yesterday, formally declared to contest the 2019 Benue state governorship under the platform of the Social Democratic Party(SDP),saying he will reverse the underdevelopment of the state if elected.
Biem, who said it was time to make a shift from the ugly trend in the state, expressed concern that states with smaller monthly allocation and Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) in comparison with Benue were running fast on the lane of development while Benue that was created over thirty years ago has continued to battle with basic issues such as quality education, road infrastructure among others.
Biem,who played a key role in the aborted third Republic during the administration of late Rev. Father Moses Adasu, the second civilian governor of Benue state betwen 1992 to 1993 on the plartfom of SDP,maintained that he was in the guber race to lay a solid foundation upon which successive administrations can build upon.
The governorship aspirant while addressing SDP state executives at the party state secretariat in Makurdi, regretted that legacies by the founding fathers, especially in the area of industralization have not been taken care of, promissing that if given the oportunity, he was going to return the state to the people by running an all embracing government.
He said finding himself once again in the SDP was home coming as according to him, legacies of the shortlived administration of Rev.Father Adasu were still been felt, some of which he listed to include, the Benue State University, Colleges of Educations in Oju and Katsina-Ala all of whom he noted were producing manpower for the state and even beyond.
Biem, added that if elected, his administration was going to give priority attention to the revamping of the state’s economy through the resucitation of moribound industries, saying he will also ensure that standerds of learning in public institutions were also enhanced.
Other areas of priority he informed will be the opening up of rural communities through the construction of rural roads with the aim to boosting the rural economy while farmers he said will also be encouraged through the provission of farm implements and improved methods of agricultural practices.
While urging the leadership of the SDP to avail all aspirants on its ticket a level playing ground as enshrined in its manifestos, Biem,also a former council chairman of Ohimini local government area thanked them for holding the party together in the face of daunting challenges, expressing optimism that the party was going to achieve a great feat in the 2019 general elections.
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