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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Insecurity: Group Tells Gov Alia To Resign Over Incompetence 

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A pro-democracy group known as Defenders of Democracy (DoD), has told Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia to resign if he has no answer to the spate of insecurity ravaging the state following the influx of thousands of herdsmen into the state with cattle and the resultant attacks and killing of the people.

DoD in a statement signed by its President, Amos Uchiv and made available to journalists in Makurdi Friday, condemned Governor Alia’s recent ban on political gatherings, describing it as a diversionary decision aimed at covering up his lack of capacity in addressing the security situation in the state.

The group criticized the Benue State Governor for collecting huge security votes every month but failing to apply the funds to end the wave of attacks against the people.

The statement read:

“Two days ago, Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia announced a ban on all political gatherings in the state citing high insecurity as reason for the ban.

The governor who made the announcement in a statement by his Chief of Staff, Paul Biam, said the prohibition of political gatherings was because “the security atmosphere in the state is charged following the unprecedented influx of armed herdsmen in the state”.

“Governor Alia’s statement is crass admittance of failure and an invitation for State of Emergency to be declared in Benue State. Alia has clearly demonstrated his ineptitude and incompetence in running the state.

“How does stopping political gatherings translate to addressing the security situation in the state? Is politics done on people’s farms where armed herders have been destroying crops? What have the children, women and other vulnerable people who are being killed in the communities got to do with political gatherings?

“Governor Alia has by his pronouncement, admitted that the security situation in his state has overwhelmed him. He doesn’t have answers to the Fulani invasion. He is talking about peaceful coexistence with Fulani and at the same time asking them to vacate the state within two weeks. What a contradiction!

“When Alia became governor, he promised to return the internally displaced people to their ancestral homes within the first 100 days, but he failed to do that. Herders have moved into Benue State with hundreds of thousands of cattle but Governor Alia is saying nothing and doing nothing. He is more interested in political battles, probes and white elephant projects like flyovers.

“Governor Alia has exposed his lack of leadership capacity in tackling insecurity in the state as rampaging Fulani militia have continued to kill more people in parts of the state. He cannot escape responsibility for the escalating insecurity which has led to the loss of many lives and destruction of property worth billions of naira in Benue State.

“Alia has failed us on all fronts. He is not only clueless and inept but also does not seem to bother even if half of the people are massacred by the marauding Fulani militia.

“The other day, we read in the papers that Governor Alia was one of those who recently endorsed what is called Pulaku and made sure that Benue State was included in the list of states where the Federal Government plans to establish cattle colonies, and we were wondering if the man is out of his mind. Which part of the state does he hope to cede for the construction of the Fulani settlements known as Pulaku?

“The Fulanis were very happy to hear that governor of Benue State is ready to give them lands to own and occupy. If this is part of the agreement he was said to have with the Fulani before they supported his election, someone should make governor Alia understand that his plan is against the interest of Benue people.

“Alia has made Benue people to miss the former governor Samuel Ortom in a very short time. Ortom was a strong voice against the Fulani agenda in his state and the country at large. He was always the first to rally other Nigerians to reject any attempt by the Federal Government to help the Fulani to take over parts of Nigeria as their own. Some of us did not agree with all of Ortom’s polices and actions but on the Fulani issue, he was outstanding. What we have now as governor is a total failure!

“We must remind governor Alia that Benue people voted for him to protect them, not to be flying in private jets across the world and spending their money on wasteful personal luxuries like buying expensive cars, buying houses in choice locations in Makurdi, Abuja, Lagos, the United States etc. He promised us that he would provide good governance, but what we have so far seen is a misfit in power.

“He has increased his approval limit from N50 million to a whopping N250 million and has increased the security votes astronomically, yet, the security of the state is getting worse under him.

“Lastly, our stand is, since it is now apparent that Governor Hyacinth Alia is overwhelmed and has lost control of security in state, he is free to honorably resign and allow his Deputy or the Speaker of the House of Assembly to take over. He is toying with the lives of over 7 million people by making unreasonable decisions. The security of lives and property is such an important part of governance that any government that has no capacity to provide security should vacate power immediately.

“We condemn the ban on political gatherings by the governor and urge him to rescind the decision to avoid heating the polity unnecessarily. We are in a democracy, not dictatorship!”

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