I read with dismay a report credited to the former Lagos state police commissioner, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav in which he made unwarranted and uncharitable comments on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, published on page six of Sunday Sun newspaper of July 19, 2015.
In the report the former policeman accused Governor Ortom of paying lip service to matters of security and lack of commitment to the amnesty program he announced and that he should have set up a committee to handle the program if he was serious. Alhaji Tsav was quoted to have said the Governor should be held responsible for the killings in the state.
These comments are baseless and mischievous.
The true situation on ground is the opposite of what Alhaji Tsav is said to have stated in the report.
Since assumption of office Governor Ortom has made security one of his topmost priorities.
He has engaged with traditional rulers, the Joint Civilian Task Force, the Inspector General of Police, the association of cattle owners, as well as other security agencies on the matter.
The Governor has been in regular touch with the state police commissioner, the director of the state security services and all heads of military and paramilitary formations in the state.
At his inauguration he announced an amnesty program for possessors of illegal arms in the state and gave them till the end of August, 2015 to surrender the arms or face arrest and confiscation.
The carrot and stick approach has started yielding results as some have started turning in their arms as was displayed in the Benue Peoples House last week.
His efforts also averted reprisals in Zaki-Biam where a soldier and policeman were killed and led to the release of several persons who were kidnapped in other parts of the state.
Governor Ortom’s constant advocacy on this matter has received wide media coverage. He followed this up with the appointment of a security adviser and senior special assistant on security to handle security challenges in partnership with the formal and informal security network.
Governor Ortom took above measures within his one and half month in office.
It might be necessary to remind the septuagenarian that the security challenges, especially murders, predate the Ortom administration and yet he did not raise his voice against the immediate past governor.
He was silent even when residents of Makurdi where he resides, including the late Gwa Jande of the Benue State University and Pastor Adoor of the Ministry of Land and Survey were assassinated.
One had thought that as a former security operative with his credentials and experience he could offer suggestions on how to curb crime in the state rather than making inciting and baseless statements.
The former police commissioner has been most unfair to Governor Ortom if indeed he made the comments attributed to him in the said newspaper.
Media and ICT.
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