Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has thrown his weight behind former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s call for a national dialogue on the present challenges rocking the nation.
He spoke on Saturday when he received the President of Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, Reverend Stephen Panya Baba, at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, the state capital, according to a statement sent to Akelicious by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase.
The statement reads, “The Governor urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call for a National Dialogue Forum where Nigerians would frankly speak on issues affecting the country, particularly insecurity and proffer solutions.
“As an interim measure to end the wave of threats and counter threats from different sections of the country, Governor Ortom recommended that security operatives should not ignore those beating drums of war.”
Akase said Governor Ortom further condemned the latest order the Fulani herders association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has given to its members to defend themselves, describing the order as capable of causing unimaginable violence.
“The Governor wondered why the group continuously makes inflammatory statements but its officials are not invited for questioning,” the statement added.
On the issue of Benue Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, the Governor urged the Federal Government to fulfil its promise to resettle the those living in various camps following herdsmen attacks on the state last year.
He recalled that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo had visited the IDP camps in May last year and announced that the Federal Government had earmarked N10 billion for the resettlement of victims of the attacks in Benue and other states.
However, Governor Ortom disclosed that the Federal Government had not yet fulfiled the promise.
He said resources of Benue State had been overstretched in managing the IDP camps, stating that if the Federal Government redeems its pledge, the funds would greatly assist the state in returning the affected persons to their ancestral homes.
Governor Ortom called for national prayers for peace in all parts of the country, expressing the hope that the current security challenges would soon be overcome.
On his part, Reverend Panya Baba commended Governor Ortom who he said stood firmly with his people despite the security and political storm, saying it was an indication that the Governor is a leader who truly loves his people.
Akelicious recalls that Obasanjo in his latest letter had said: “Government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society.”.