Arewa Youths for Peace and Development has lambasted Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom for calling Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir a terrorist.
Chairman of the Group, Alhaji Salihu Magaji Mohammed stated this on Tuesday at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi when he addressed a press conference.
He said everyone in Nigeria knows Bala to be a nationalist who always has the interest of the masses and the oppressed at heart, “no matter what, to call him a terrorist is unacceptable, erroneous, unfair and we demand an unreserved apology to Nigerians by Ortom for fanning the embers of disunity in the country, his utterances and reckless statements and actions”, the chairman is quoted saying.
He accused Ortom of unguarded utterances to cover his allegedly dastardly act of sponsoring thugs that maimed and killed many Fulani herdsmen in Benue without regarding the oath of office he swore to defend.
Magajji said, “Ortom for his own selfish interest is moving in a wrong direction that he may not finish well. When he called a respected serving governor a terrorist; has simply displayed criminality in governance, thuggery in governance, lack of respect to the office and status of the governor and lack of regard to the constitution of Nigeria.
“He is creating unnecessary tension when there is no need for it. Today, Benue is very insecure. Every day people are being killed, maimed and chased out of the state, people are being intimidated by the governor and his thugs. That violates the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens in the name of anti-grazing laws.
“That is not the way to do it. A governor is supposed to have respect for human beings, to protect them and to provide essential social services to his people, to treat all with respect, not to make reckless statements or abuse a governor and his office with the aim of tarnishing his image and reputations, in order to hide under his lack of performance through false allegations to serve as a cover to him.
“This is a clear indication that Ortom is an enemy of Nigeria because he is fighting justice, unity, peace and stability of the country.”
Magaji called on the Benue State House of Assembly to commence an impeachment process against Ortom for violating the oath of office he swore to defend.
He said, “our country is in desperate need of competent, transparent, detribalised and resourceful leader with democratic credentials to move the nation forward like Bala who always speaks the truth no matter how bitter it is in the best interest of the country.
“Bala’s doggedness and ability to fix the numerous challenges confronting the nation was seen in his outstanding and impeccable performance as the FCT Minister for six consecutive years, which is yet to be surpassed till date years after he left office and a man of integrity. With this track record, he will not support crime and criminality but can advise and say the truth no matter how bitter it is.”
The chairman maintained that leaders in the country should refrain from making utterances that has the capacity to heat up the country, pointing out that no nation can progress in a state of anarchy.
“We reiterate that Ortom needs to apologise to the people of Bauchi State and Nigerians for tagging Governor Bala Mohammed as a terrorist because Bauchi people are not terrorists neither is their Governor.
“Such a statement should not come out of the mouth of a leader who happens to be a mouthpiece of the people, who everybody looks forward to as a role model.
“Bala has been working hard to foster peaceful coexistence in the country and not to disintegrate it. When he said Fulani herdsmen should defend themselves, it was not to create tension in the country but to proffer solutions to the insecurity problems in the country” he said.