From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
As the nation marks its 61st Independence anniversary, Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom has said there is nothing to celebrate as a people.
Ortom who lamented that Nigerian leaders have failed the people regretted the high level of insecurity, bad economic policies and abject poverty opining that all these are being perpetrated by the federal government.
‘We have nothing to celebrate. Are we celebrating Boko Haram or bandits? There is nothing and that is why here in Benue we have chosen to celebrate God because God has given us life. Is it the economy, close to N600 a dollar. We have nothing to celebrate as a people. We leaders have failed this country.’
The Governor stated this on Friday while fielding questions from newsmen after an interdenominational service to mark the 2021 Independence Day celebration at the Government House Chapel of Grace, Makurdi.
He posited that those who are piloting the affairs of the present federal government are sycophants and mediocre stressing that corruption, insecurity and failed leadership has crippled all spheres of the economy while Nigerians are groaning in the hands of the present government.
The Governor maintained that it was for this reason that his administration rather called for prayers in so as to celebrate God for sparing the lives of the people and to cry unto Him for a better President of the country in the future.
‘Sycophants, mediocres are the ones who are ruling. Corruption has taken over this country and in every spheres of life nothing is happening. So, we need to celebrate God for giving us life. May be that way, God will give us better president but for now, I won’t deceive you, there is nothing to celebrate.’
The Governor further lamented the continuous killings in Benue state revealing that between 2017 till date, over 100 security men have died while trying to provide security for the people of the state.
Ortom who expressed sadness over the continued stay of Benue IDPs especially women and children in camps said, ‘this is not the kind of Nigeria we yearned for.’
He however commended the security agents in the state for apprehending one of the most wanted militia leaders in the state, Aondofa Kefas, a.k.a Azonto, Gana’s second in command even as he urged them to ensure that he is brought back to the state to face justice.
Reacting to the mass resignation of his aides, Governor Ortom said he gave the directive for those who want to contest election to resign to enable them concentrate on pursuing their ambition.
‘I told each and everyone of them that it is God that crowns so if God anoints you, no one can stop you so they should work with their people.
‘For me, I want to finish very strong and those people who have resigned, I am going to replace them and I expect that they will work for me and the people of Benue state to finish strong and when we finish strong, it becomes easier for whoever that is nominated for any elective post to win the election.’
Asked if he has any preferred candidate, the Governor said, ‘I have no anointed candidate. I am not God so I cannot anoint you but anybody who becomes the candidate of my party is my candidate.’
From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi