Benue State governor Samuel Ortom has called on Nigerians to bury their political, ethnic, religious and cultural differences and resuscitate the country, which he said is on life support.
The governor also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prosecute the minister alleged to have bought an estate worth $37 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The governor who made his views known while declaring open the 2021 Law Week in Makurdi the state capital said, he wondered how a minister, currently serving in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who was caught buying an estate worth $37 million will be shielded by the same Buhari administration that claims it is fighting corruption.
Ortom, who also lamented the prevalence of selective justice in the country, called on the president to uphold his oath of office as the president of all Nigerians and to lead in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are all Nigerians irrespective of our political affiliations, the president is our president, why is he treating members of the All Progressives Congress different from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition parties?” he said.
According to Ortom, “If the president is truly fighting corruption without selective justice on others, he should bring out the said minister to face outright prosecution so that it will serve as deterrent to others.”
“You can imagine a minister currently serving in the federal Republic of Nigeria caught buying a $37million estate. We were told by the EFCC Chairman himself that this Minister remitted $20million to the bank and the commission was able to trace it, since then we have not heard anything about this issue up till now, where is Nigeria heading to?
“I want to say here that FG should give the EFCC a free hand of operation without interference so that the Commission will do their job in line with the Law that established it,” he added.
He also called on President Buhari to respect the federal character principle in the appointment of persons into key positions and siting of projects.
While describing the Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi Branch as a reliable partner to his administration in ensuring quick dispensation of justice and implementation of government policies, Ortom acknowledged the critical role played by the Bar in the process that led to the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.
The Makurdi NBA chairman, Barrister Justin Gbagir said the disturbing trend of the activities of militia herdsmen in Nigeria and the attendant security threat to the corporate existence of the country necessitated the choice of the theme.