From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has condemned the Saturday attack on the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, while on visit to his farm in Makurdi, describing it as barbaric and despicable.
IPAC, in a statement on Sunday said it’s inconceivable that the attackers could trail the governor and opened fire on him and his aides along Makurdi/Gboko road, and he had to run for more than one and a half kilometres to escape being killed, indicating that security agents attached to him were able to repel them and saved the governor.
The statement which was signed by IPAC National Publicity Secretary, Ambassador Agbo Major, noted that the situation depicts the sorry state of security in the country which IPAC has severally stated and urged the Federal Government to take seriously in tandem with Section 14 (2)b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which provided that security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
He added: “Unfortunately, governments at all levels have treated security of the citizens with kid’s gloves such that a governor could be attacked by gunmen with impunity. If the Chief Security Officer of the State is not safe, how will he provide security to his people?”
The Council, thus, urged security agents to swing into action immediately and arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly and cowardly act, and bring them to justice.
“The new military service chiefs, the inspector general of police and director general, department of state service should justify the confidence Nigerians reposed in them and make the country safe again,” IPAC said.
The Council also urged Governor Ortom to be decisive, courageous and steadfast in providing good governance and dividends of democracy to the people of Benue State and not be distracted by onslaughts of terrorists, bandits and criminal elements who are out to frustrate his government and destabilize the polity.
Meanwhile, the Council has condemned the violence that erupted during the Ekiti East Constituency 1 by-election in which three voters were killed while a youth corper, a police woman and an lndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff sustained gunshot wounds on Saturday.
IPAC said the situation was sadism of the worst order as no politician’s election is worth the blood of fellow compatriots.
As the umbrella body of the 18 registered political parties, IPAC said it has been in vanguard for inclusive, free, fair, credible, transparent and peaceful elections in Nigeria, and it will not hesitate to sanction any political party that violates its code of conduct for various elections in accordance with INEC guidelines and laws.
IPAC said the need for electoral reform and use of electronic voting system in subsequent polls cannot be overemphasized, and it has since submitted its proposal for the amendment of the Electoral Act, urging the National Assembly to expedite action on it ahead of November 2021 Anambra State governorship election.
The Council shared the grief of members of the families of these patriotic citizens who came out to discharge their civic duties and pray to God Almighty to console and strengthen them in this period of bereavements, and speedy recovery to the wounded.