• Accuses government of complicity in appointing suspected Boko Haram supporters to key federal offices, integrating repentant sect members into military
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has called on the international community to pressure the federal government to address the ongoing acts of terrorism in the country without religious or ethnic bias.
He alleged that currently, the current administration in Nigeria was unwilling to wield the big stick against murderous terrorist groups.
Ortom made the call yesterday, when he interacted with a delegation from the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the Benue State Governor’s Lodge Asokoro, Abuja.
The governor said that being a multi-religious and ethnic country, the federal government, which has the responsibility to ensure that the rights of the people as enshrined in the Constitution are protected, should take the task more seriously than it currently does. .
According to Ortom, an end must be put to the federal government’s inability to act quickly to tame the rise in terrorist attacks against communities across the country for many years.
He alleged that the appointment of suspected Boko Haram supporters to key federal offices, the integration of repentant members of the sect into the military, and the government’s failure to arrest and prosecute terrorist herders also proved the complicity of the federal government.
He noted that in the name of national unity, cohesion, peaceful co-existence and the promotion of development, the rights of the people to freedom of religion must also be upheld by the Nigerian state, hence the need for the international community to intervene by putting pressure on the government to do the right thing.
Ortom also told the visiting parliamentarians that due to the activities of terrorist groups, more than 1.5 million people have been displaced from their ancestral lands and properties worth billions of naira destroyed in the state of Benue following the invasion.
He recommended the rehabilitation and return of displaced persons to their ancestral homes as well as the payment of full compensation to the victims.
In response, the leader of the delegation and Irish MP, Mr Jim Shannon, thanked Ortom for providing the delegation with a comprehensive overview of the issues and assured that they would present his case to the correct department at home to obtain positive results. .
In their separate comments, Brendan O’Hara of the House of Commons and Rachel Miner, who acknowledged that the alleged religious crisis in Nigeria was getting worse, said they would continue to speak to governments, religious leaders and civil society to make the desired change.