Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, has asked the United Kingdom to pressure the federal government of Nigeria to take more important steps to address insecurity.
Ortom said this on Tuesday at a meeting involving members of the UK parliament.
Speaking in Abuja at an interaction with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief — a group based in the UK parliament — the Benue governor said it appears that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is unwilling to take serious action against “murderous terrorist groups”.
According to a statement by Nathaniel Ikyur, his spokesman, Ortom said “the inability of the federal government to act swiftly to tame the rise of terror attacks on communities in the country for many years now by Islamic extremists with the sole aim of taking over the country must be put to an end”.
“The Governor stated that being a multi religious and ethnic country, the Federal Government which is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the rights of the people as enshrined in the constitution are protected, ought to take the task more seriously than it is currently doing,” the statement reads.
“He noted that for the sake of national unity, cohesion, peaceful coexistence and promotion of development, the rights of the people to freedom of religion must also be respected by the Nigerian state, hence the need for the international community to intervene by putting pressure on the Government to do the right thing.
“Governor Ortom also told the visiting parliamentarians that due to the activities of these terrorist groups, over 1.5 million people have been displaced from their ancestral lands and properties worth billions of naira destroyed in Benue State as a result of the invasion.
“He recommended that, there was need for rehabilitation and return of IDPs to their ancestral homes as well as payment of full compensation to victims.”