The group said: “ The attention of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has been drawn to the barring of fangs and instigation of anarchy by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in Benue State.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, comprising Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum and the Pan Niger Delta Front (PANDEF) has condemned the impeachment plot against Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state and said President Muhammadu Buhari should be held responsible if there is breakdown of law and order in the state.
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In a statement jointly signed by Yinka Odumakin (Afenifere), Senator Bassey Henshaw (PANDEF) Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (Ohaneze) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo ( Middle Belt Forum), the group accused the Buhari-led administration of ‘full blown’ dictatorship.”
It urged the president to focus on safeguarding life and property of Nigerian citizens in Benue after many lives were lost as a result of herdsmen killings.
The group said: “ The attention of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has been drawn to the barring of fangs and instigation of anarchy by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in Benue State. It has been reported that a ruthless and desperate plot was hatched yesterday, which involved the drafting of policemen from Abuja and neighbouring states to force 22 out of 30 members of the State Assembly out of the Assembly complex to pave way for the impeached Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, and six others to sit.
“The gangsteric operations, which was said to have been led by the Benue state AC OPS, Emmanuel Adesina, saw the minority
members sitting without the mace and the clerk of the assembly, suspending the majority 22 members and serving impeachment notice on Governor Ortom. It is shameful that President Buhari, who realised after about four months, that his Inspector General of Police did not obey his directive to go and secure lives in Benue, and has done nothing to him, is so eager to deploy policemen to the state to enforce illegality for political calculations.
“We are worried that till date the president and his security team have yet to bring anybody to book for the killing of hundreds of people in Benue. They have only been putting pressure on the governor to suspend the anti-open grazing law and cede land for imperialistic and land-grabbing notion of ranches.
It is equally embarrassing that a supposed democratic government would resort to thuggish tactics where political engagement is needed .
“This is a throwback to full blown dictatorship and the dark days of putting human beings in a crate. We want to let President Buhari know, in advance, that he will be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Benue and any possible loss of lives. We call on the international community to pay particular attention to the ongoing subversion of the democratic process in Benue by the Buhari government.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Benue at this dark moment as evil walks on four legs across their state. They must not flinch or surrender as this shall come to pass.”