From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A group under the aegis of Forum of Concerned Nigerians (FCN) has decried the state of the nation under President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that Nigeria is currently in coma.
The group stated this while addressing newsmen in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Monday positing that the continued spate of insecurity across the country had justified the fears expressed by Governor Samuel Ortom in Washington DC during his interactions with officials of the State Department.
“Yesterday in Washington DC, United States of America, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom raised a disturbing and timely alarm over the increasing spate of violence in Nigeria and urged the US government and the rest of the international community to hold President Muhammadu Buhari accountable for the wave of violence in Nigeria.
“The Governor made the call at the State Department, Washington DC, while interacting with its officials.
“Governor Ortom also said President Buhari and his government should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to him, and went on to cite the plethora of threats he has been receiving and including the attempt made on his life in 2021.
“As a group of concerned Nigerians, we elect to join the Benue State Governor on this timely and patriotic call.
Nigeria is in a coma and anyone who is pretending about it is living in self-denial.”
The group, in a statement read by its spokesperson, Peter Shande further emphasized that the government of President Buhari has failed the people of the country, stressing that his administration is clearly complicit in the spate of violence across the country and the killing of innocent people.
“Governor Ortom is one Nigerian who has chosen to be the voice of the voiceless, so any attempt at silencing him will mean an attempt to silence over 200 million helpless Nigerians, and such an attempt will be stoutly resisted. No one has the monopoly of violence and the capacity to sponsor smear campaigns.
“We have carefully watched the Buhari administration and its agents serially use the media to threaten and vilify the person and office of the Benue State Governor. This is unacceptable.
“What is Ortom’s offence? Is it a crime to choose to stand with one’s people in the face of brazen injustice, oppression and impunity? Since 2017, Governor Ortom has come under a heavy wave of sponsored blackmail and victimization from the Federal Government and its willing agents.
Chronicling instances where the Governor has been severely subjected to media attacks and other forms of threats between
May 30, 2017 and January 24, 2022, the group maintained that the alarm raised by Ortom concerning his safety was very timely, compelling and urgent.
“We therefore urge the international community not to treat the Governor’s call with levity. Nigeria is too important in the African continent and comity of nations to be allowed to become a failed state simply because a sitting President wants it to be destroyed.
The group also called on the United States, the United Kingdom and other world powers to intervene in the security situation in Nigeria without further delay, adding that the establishment of a Special Envoy on Nigeria will be a good place to begin.
“Lastly, we will not fail to warn the Presidency that we are watching keenly, and nothing must happen to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom. The Governor represents the suffering and marginalized people of this country who are being slaughtered like animals by terrorists almost daily.
“We must state here categorically that anyone who touches Ortom should be prepared to contend with over 200 million people of this country! Enough said,” the statement concluded.