Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has asked the presidency to concentrate on how to win the war against terrorists and stop blaming Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah, for addressing United States (US) Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs on the horrible situation in Nigeria.
Ortom said he had expected the federal government to be worried by the ranking of Nigeria as the most terrorised nation in Africa with an average of over 2,000 deaths per year on account of terrorism instead of resorting to blame game.
The governor who reacted to the response of the presidency to Kukah’s address to United States (US) Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs on the wave of insecurity in Nigeria, said, “I stand with Kukah on the issues he raised.”
Ortom stated that Kukah is not to be blamed because he is not responsible for the ranking of Nigeria as the eighth least peaceful country in Africa and the rating of killer herdsmen as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index.
The governor lamented that the combative approach the Presidency has adopted in engaging citizens on issues would not solve the problems confronting the country.
He urged the presidency to listen to the voices of reason and resist the temptation to whip into silence those who genuinely love the country and are offering solutions to its challenges.
He said, “I stand with Bishop Kukah on the issues he raised, because I would have said similar things if I am to address the same audience. I want to advise the federal government to stop intimidating patriotic Nigerians who are raising genuine concerns over the worsening security and economic situation in the country”
Ortom said Kukah was not the First Nigerian to address a foreign audience on the security situation in the country even as he recalled that in February, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari was at the time the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), he delivered a speech at Chatham House in London, where he stated that “Boko Haram has sadly put Nigeria on the terrorism map, killing more than 13,000 of our nationals. The president went on to announce to the world on that occasion that apart from the civil war era, Nigeria had never been more insecure in the country’s history.”