Benue: Ortom Cries Out Over Breach Of protocol By Air Force Personnel

By Lateef Adegbite

 Samuel Ortom , governor of the north central state of Benue , have cried out, over the  refusal of the Nigerian Air force  personnel attached  to the tactical air Command, Makurdi, the state capital, on Saturday, February, 12, 022,  from welcoming Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President who is on transit to Wukari area of Taraba, Theophilous Danjuma, a retired Army Gneral and former minister of Defence during Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, through the state.

 The governor , who could not hide his feelings had said that  he had many  things on his table to attend to but left  them to be at the  air force tactical Command, base, to welcome the Vice President to the state. He had said that he had  to give priority to the Vice President  stopover visit  when he got  a letter from the Presidency  intimating him of the his transit  through air force tactical  command base, Makurdi, on Friday, February 11, 2022 by putting official matters on hold.

He may have alluded  to the crisis in the entire  Gwer  west  in the state which is under  ‘’siege of the armed Fulani herdsmen and  which requires his immediate  intervention to bring the situation under control.This may have encouraged him  and the state protocol to be at the air force base  on Saturday, February 12, 2022,  to  welcome the Vice President  as requested by the Presidency but they were stopped by the air force personnel who may be acting out a script from receiving him at the air force base.

After The Drama At The Makurdi Air Force Base , Vice President Osinbajo and Gov. Ortom, Eventually Met

They were said to have eventually met where they had a warm handshake. The governor’s worry was that he was not allowed by the air force personnel to receive the Vice President in his capacity as the governor of the state. ” I feel so pained that politics has been taken what  it is supposed  to be’’, he lamented.

Although, he has called for disciplinary actions against the air force force personnel in what he had described as an” embarassment to his office” but that was how far he could go,

Many  believe that the air force personnel may have gotten security reports that the Benue state  governor  had planned to take up the Gwer west area believed to be under the siege of the armed Fulani herdsmen with the Vice President and thus, did not want to him such opportunity.

 This may have informed why the Tactical air force Command Personnel, tightened up security at the Airforce base to prevent the governor from driving in to receive the Vice President at the air force base who is on transit to Wukari area  in Taraba  state to address a  major  security Challenge  at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General.

Vice President Osinbajo Received At The Air Force Base, Makurdi, Without Gov. Ortom

 An aggrieved Ortom  who could not bear the embarrassment to his office by the air force personnel  had said that he could not have been at the airport to welcome the Nigerian Vice President to the state  ‘’if he was not formally invited  by the Presidency to do so’’ as the Chief Security Officer of the state. He noted  that the  armed herdsmen who are on rampage  at the Gwer west  area of the state   are burning  down  houses , an issue  he would  have discussed  with the Vice president before departing for Wakari trouble area in Taraba state.

 He had said that there was no basis for the air force personnel to stop him from welcoming the Vice President to the state  as ’’there is no permanent  enemy in politics’’,  stressing that he can be ‘’ the best friend of the Katsina  state born Nigerian President  tomorrow, if they choose  to do the right thing’’. He has told those that care to listen that he has ‘’no problems with  the retired Army general  to be disgraced by agents of state at the air-force tactical Command  base, Makurdi. Political analysts believe that  he is the architect  of his problem  with the Presidency  because he has been  too confrontational  in his approach to national issues .

Wike: Gov.Of Rivers State And A Strong Critic Of Buhari’s Administration

With the treatment meted out to Gov. Ortom,  by airforce personnel, there are fears that  Nyesom Wike, a former minister of State , Education, during former President Jonathan Administration, and who  later took over effective control of the ministry, following  the removal of the substantive minister  and now governor of oil –rich Rivers state may have to watch it to avoid  getting such embarassing treatment from military personnel  for daring their Commander-In-Chief.

 The Rivers state governor  recent Statement  that the retired Army General , had refused to give assent  to the Nationnal Assembly amended Electoral Bill because he is afraid  that it will make the  ruling APC, lose  the  forthcoming  2023  general elections to the Opposition PDP, may have put him in the ranks of Ortom , who was stopped from welcoming  the Vice President  who  was  on transit in the state to Wakari.

The Rivers state governor  had repeatedly  said that  the APC Leadership and the Presidency are afraid that  ‘’if Professor Mhmood Yakubu, led Independent National Electoral Commission , INEC,  transmits  election results electronically in 2023, that it will mark the end of the Administration   because they know they will fail’’.

There is no gain saying the fact that the duo, Ortom and Wike, for long have been identified by the Buhari led APC , government for being unfriendly and may  have left their matter to the security agencies personnel  to handle to avoid reading political meanings into any action that may be taken by the government . It was therefore not very surprising why there have not been any Statement from the presidency condemning the action of the air force personnel for stopping Gov. Ortom, from welcoming the Vice President to the state.

Tinubu: APC Presidential Aspirant Says There Are Better Days Ahead If He Wins The 2023, General Elections

While the Benue state governor  is still struggling to make Nigerians understand that he has no problems with the President or the Vice President,  Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and one of the front runners of the APC, Presidential ticket, in the forth coming  2023, general elections, has assured Nigerians during  a recent  visit to   Aremu Gbadebo, the Alake of Igbaland,as part of his nation-wide consultations for  the Presidency,  of ‘’better days ahead’’   if he wins the Presidential elections.

He may have alluded to the  current difficult situations Nigerians are facing under the Buhari Administration, stressing that ‘’there will always be difficult times but there will be times for joy’’. Putting on the garb of a politician , he had said, ‘’We are navigating  Nigeria  through a very difficult and windy period ‘’, stating ‘’We will survive it  and  we will be happy’’.

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