Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has described an incident during which security operatives barred him from receiving the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo in his state as a breach of protocol.
Ortom ‘feels sad for Nigeria’ as security operatives bar him from receiving Osinbajo
Ortom says if Nigeria must progress, it must learn to differentiate between politics and governance.
Ortom said the security operatives denied him entry into the Airforce base in Makurdi, where he was expected to receive the Vice President on Saturday, February 12, 2022.
Speaking to journalists at Government House, Makurdi following his encounter with the security officials, the governor said he felt sad for the ‘country where everything has been reduced to politics’.
Ortom said he had prepared to attend the burial of a political leader in his state but changed his mind when he received a letter from the presidency that the VP would be passing through the NAF Base Makurdi, to Wukari in Taraba State on Saturday.
The governor said after receiving the letter, he asked his deputy, Mr. Benson Abounu to represent him at Prof Ayua’s burial.
According to him, he made for the airport to receive the VP but was denied access into the airport.
Ortom said: “It is unfortunate that an ugly incident occurred today which is a breach of protocol and I felt so sad for our country Nigeria where everything has been reduced to politics.
“I was to attend the burial ceremony of our leader, Professor Ayua, had made all arrangements to go to Konshisha but a letter was brought to me that the vice president was transiting from Makurdi to Wukari
“It is a normal thing that when distinguished people like the President or Vice President is passing through your state, the governor should receive him.
“So I asked the deputy governor to represent me at the burial of professor Ayua.
“This morning I went to the Airforce base to receive the Vice President who will be transiting to Wukari but unfortunately, I was barred in my own state. It is a breach of protocol.
Ortom further described the incident as a politics taken too far. He said if Nigeria must progress, it must learn to differentiate between politics and governance.
He said, “This is politics taken too far and somebody must account for this. If the personality of the Vice President was passing and I didn’t go, it will be a breach of protocol on my side.
“How can I go to Airforce base and I’m barred? it has never happened, it is not acceptable. Maybe the Presidency that wrote to me is not aware of this. If we must make progress, we must learn to differentiate between politics and governance.
“I’m not a busy body, I have so many things to do. As I talk to you, the entire Gwer West is under siege. The Fulani are burning houses and I had to shelve everything to receive the Vice President. I feel so pained that politics have gone beyond what it is supposed to be. That is very bad.
“There is no permanent enemy in politics or permanent friend. Tomorrow, I can feel to be the best friend of Mr President if they do the right thing. I don’t hate the President or Vice President. All I’m saying is to add value to development. I have never insulted the President, I have never insulted the Vice President or the Federal Government but there are certain things they are doing that are wrong.”
Ortom has been very vocal about insecurity in his state as he’s always in the news calling on the Federal Government to tackle the rising spate of kidnappings and killings in the country.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: