Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has told the American government and the rest of the international community to hold the government of President Muhammadu Buhari accountable for the continued spate of violence in Nigeria.
Ortom who made the call at the State Department, Washington DC, while interacting with its officials also said President Buhari and his government should be held responsible if anything happens to him.
The Governor while citing the series of threats he has been receiving and the attempt made on his life in March last year as signals that the Presidency and its conspirators are after him, explained that till date, those who attacked him have not been prosecuted.
He said he was at the State Department to present the traumatized Nigerian victims’ side of the story after discovering that wrong narratives were being circulated across the globe by the government of Buhari to shield itself from complicity.
“The false narrative of herder-farmer clashes was deliberately crafted to delay farmers’ doomsday until they were gradually wiped out and their ancestral lands confiscated.
“The truth is that farming populations in Nigeria are under siege and are being decimated; agriculture is gradually dying and food security is being threatened,” the Governor stated.
He further advised the international community not to take the insecurity in Nigeria as a distant problem, stressing that the outbreak of war in any country will cause migration problems to America and Britain due to their friendly immigration policies.
“In the last seven years, the Buhari administration has seen children rendered as orphans, farmers being displaced, schools, hospitals and social services disrupted, without doing anything to restore normalcy.
“The federal government’s punitive neglect has led to increasing number of internally displaced persons in Benue State which now stands at 1.5 million.”
Preferring solutions towards ending the spate of violence in the country, Ortom urged the United States of America and the rest of the international community to demand accountability from Buhari’s government on the deaths of innocent citizens.
He further advised that a special envoy be appointed to Nigeria to deal with the flashpoint of the violence, ensure international funding of IDPs gets to Benue State, the epicentre of the current violence as well as Plateau, Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara and other states affected by terrorists’ attacks in the country as well as encourage the establishment of state police in Nigeria.
Responding, the US State Department officials headed by the Under Secretary, Africa and Middle East, Padgett Douglas
said the US government was aware of random terrorism, weaponization of religion and importation of violence in Nigeria.
He added that since the security of the political system was paramount to the US government, it has set up a conflict bureau to fund IDPs in Nigeria, promising that he would ensure that such funding does not go to the wrong channels.
Douglas also assured the Governor Ortom that he would make a case for the Benue IDPs and investigate other issues he had raised.