The Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday visited the President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, three days after he was attacked by gunmen.
It could be ecall that Ortom narrowly escaped assassination on Saturday when gunmen attacked him on his farm near Makurdi.
After the closed door meeting with the president, the governor told State House correspondents that with the current level of insecurity in the country, nobody would think of 2023 elections. His statement corroborates the assertion on Tuesday by the Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, who in an interview said 2023 elections were under threat.
He said, “I want to also appeal to Nigerians. 2023, yes to a politician is not far, but it is still a long way. If we secure our country and everything is going fine, then we can talk about 2023.
“But the way things are going, if we don’t secure the country, there is no way we can be talking about 2023. For me, I want us as leaders of this country, we have taken oaths of office, let us abide by those things we have said and work together as a team; leave politics aside, leave ethnicity aside and secure the country. We have no other country than the Nigeria we live in.”
The governor said, “I am aware that the security challenges in our country today are not about the President or we, state governors. They are about every citizen of this country, so we must work together to surmount them.
“I also want Nigerians to know, especially those who are responsible for making inflammatory statements, that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder and everybody is not in doubt in Nigeria today, about the security situation.
“Without security, there can be no meaningful progress and so it is important to put heads together.
“Let’s do the things that are lawful; protect the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria so that everybody will be secured. Let there be equity, fairness and justice. That is what I stand for.”
The governor also faulted those who hold the belief that he could have stage-managed the attack on his convoy, and wondered the benefit he would derive in raising a false alarm.
He insisted that the state government’s anti-open grazing law was not targeted at any ethnic group or individual as being insinuated.
The governor disclosed that Buhari accepted the suggestions he made on the security situation in the state.
“I have been able to recommend some measures and most of them he (the President) agreed with: that nobody should be a sacred cow.”
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