From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has urged Nigerians, especially, the highly placed, to refrain from making unguarded and inflammatory statements concerning security issues in the country.
The Governor stated this on Monday, at the Government House, Lafia during a condolence visit to the Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule over the death of his son, Hassan Sule.
Ortom who sympathized with Governor Sule over the demise of his son and recent killings in Nasarawa state urged people to restrain from making comments that create confusion.
“I want to implore people, particularly those in high places to restrain themselves from making utterances that will aggravate the problem and create confusion and apportion blame to people.
“I am really not happy with some utterances coming from very responsible people instead of trying to find out what happened,” he said.
He said rather than making unguarded statements, people can verify any issue, emphasising that “As Governors, our lines are at the disposal of the public. People can access us through our aides and security personnel, instead of making inflammatory statements that are not verified.”
According to the Governor, “in Nigeria today, we have a general security problem that should not be left in the hands of the President or Governors alone to solve it.
“Issues of security requires collective efforts and strong will from all citizens of this country to work with the leadership to ensure we surmount the challenges.
“So, we must join hands together, irrespective of our feelings, we must ensure the rule of law and respect for human dignity at all times.”
The Governor noted that, without security, there cannot be meaningful progress and development.
The Governor, on behalf of the Government and people of Benue State, condoled with Nasarawa State Governor and prayed God to give him the fortitude to bear the loss of his son and all those who were recently killed in the state, urging him to accept it as the will of God who gives and takes life.
Responding on behalf of the family, Emir of Lafia, Justice Muhammad Sidi Bage (rtd), thanked Governor Ortom for the visit, describing it as a demonstration of the history of brotherhood and togetherness existing between Benue and Nasarawa states.
He recounted the long-standing relationship between Benue and Nasarawa since colonial times saying the boundary between the two states was only artificial as they were one entity and one people through inter marriages and shared the same blood.