The Presidency has urged Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to accept RUGA and other policies if he wants peace and normalcy to return to his state.
Following a series of killings in the state by gunmen, Ortom had called for the urgent intervention of the federal government.
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The governor had said President Muhammadu Buhari’s “action and inaction” was responsible for the insecurity, accusing him of Fulanisation of Nigeria.
However, a statement released by the President’s media aide, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, claimed the recent spate of insecurity ravaging the state resulted from Ortom’s rejection of Ruga settlements.
He said Ortom’s refusal to adopt the controversial Ruga policy showed he did not value people’s interest.
The governor had rejected the policy describing it as deceptive and against the interest of Benue indigenes, who are predominantly farmers.
Buhari, in the statement, also accused the governor of stirring religious and ethnic violence.
The statement read; “Benue under the Ortom administration ought to cooperate with the federal government in the implementation of a number of national strategies programmes in addressing underlying issues militating against peace, progress, and development.
“This can still get done when the interest of the people is placed above all other interests. A government voted into office by the people should treat the people as its masters and not as its servants.”
“As Nigerians, we accuse colonial rulers of the policy of divide and rule.
“Today, it is our own leaders who pit region against region, religion against religion, ethnic group against ethnic group, and community against community.
“He also states his disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State, make a litany of accusations against his person and his government following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state,” the statement reads.
“No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp.
“President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice.
“The lives of fellow citizens should not be desecrated by deploying them in political diatribe which unfortunately appeared to be the intent of the string of emotional attacks and blame laid at the doors of the President for those killings by Governor Ortom.
“President Buhari took an oath to defend the life and property of every citizen, a duty he takes seriously and is committed to ensuring.
“Those citizens, regardless of their affiliations, who either incite, sponsor or are proven to be abettors of these atrocities will face the law squarely and be answerable for their crimes against our fellow citizens and nation.”
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