The Governors of Rivers and Benue States, Nyesom Wike and Samuel Ortom, received the Minister of Interior, Lt. General Dambazau at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari following the brutal attacks and killings in their respective states.
The minister said he was in the states to assess the security situation, following New Year killings that resulted in about 50 deaths in the two states.
Wike and Ortom both accused the federal government, specifically the Inspector General of Police of refusing to respond to their request for specific security deployments to their states in spite of the high level security information made available to them.
Both governors also suggested that the FG might be protecting the criminals as they are well known.
Why this matters:
Ortom is an APC governor, so his charge against the federal government carries a strong weight, especially in the light of Pres. Buhari’s perceived bias towards the herdsmen who are Fulanis like him.
Wike, on the other hand, governs the largest opposition state in the country and his allegation that there may be a plot to make the state ungovernable is expected to raise a few questions concerning the FG’s handling of the issue. Wike himself has been accused by several people including his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, of not being decisive enough with the criminals wreaking havoc in the state due to political reasons.
Governor Wike’s Challenge
Wike said he has made specific requests to the Inspector General of Police to deploy special squads to help with the cultism and kidnapping situation in Rivers state. He said that the security agencies have been fully briefed and are aware of who the masterminds are but are foot-dragging.
He told Dambazau,
“The security agencies have the profiles of all cult kingpins in different parts of the state and they know their locations, there is no wisdom in the politicization of security.
“In every system, the security agencies know the flashpoints. Here we requested for the strengthening of security around these flashpoints, especially areas with high prevalence of cultists.
‘’I expect that security would be beefed up in these places, I ask this question, Is there an orchestrated plan to tag Rivers State unsafe?
“Is the situation above the security agencies, despite the information we have made available to them?”
“The peculiar nature of Rivers State requires peculiar intervention, before now, I have been shouting that we need support to fight crime, I have made this complaint severally.”
Governor Ortom’s Challenge
Ortom also challenged the Minister of Interior, Dambazau to go beyond speaking and take action. He specifically claimed that the sponsors of the killings were known to the FG and are being protected.
“These people that issued threat are staying with you there in Abuja. We want you to arrest them and make them to account for their words.”
Ortom in a January 6, 2017 interview, pointed fingers at the FG and accused them of refusing to act on his reports.
He said: “I have reported Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, their president and secretary; these are two persons who persistently alerted us that they are going to come into Benue State to cause havoc and they have done it. I am repeating that call; if there is another place where I can take my case, I will do it. I have no option, but I believe that I reported this to the president and he assured me that he would get the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to act and I believe that that will be complied with and, until that is done, I am not going to rest.”
Suggesting that the Miyetti Allah group is receiving protection, Ortom said:
“They issued several press statements and threats against us and their threats have become reality. They are living in Abuja with the Federal Government, so why can’t the Federal Government do something?”
In the interview he said: “These people are known, I have reported them to the president and, currently, they have taken us to court.”