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Don’t shoot ballot box snatchers, Ortom tells troops

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA—Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has advised the nation’s military personnel to dismiss President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to be ruthless against ballot box snatchers, saying obeying such will amount to extra-judicial killings which he said could lead to trial at the International Court of Justice, ICC.


The governor stated this yesterday at a briefing in Abuja, noting that the military must stick to its constitutional duties of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.

He said: “It is unfortunate that Nigeria is gradually drifting to a banana republic where no rule of law is respected and observed. A government that was elected democratically is gradually turning into a dictatorship.

“It is unfortunate for our own President to come out and disregard the provisions of the laws of the land and give orders for extra-judicial killings in the state and torture against innocent Nigerians.

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“Let me say unequivocally that I am completely against the rigging of any form by any political party. It is wrong and we do not need that. For me, I did not rig election to become governor. But the truth of the matter is that we have laws. I expect that Mr. President who is the chief custodian of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should protect our constitution and the laws of the land. It is unfortunate that Mr. President gave that order.

“I was just reading from the social media the reaction of the military that they are going to obey the directives of Mr. President to the letter. It is unfortunate. This cannot stand, this cannot hold.

“I want to advise those who are in the military, police and the other security agencies that they should know that they are also Nigerians. Today, they are serving the public; tomorrow they will not be there. Maybe some of them will become politicians like some of us are.

“It has happened in the past and it will happen again. I also want to remind them that the day of reckoning will definitely come when they will be alone to give account of their stewardship.

“So, I want to advise them to respect the rules of engagement based on the laws of the land. No matter the directives of Mr. President.

“The Police, Army, DSS and all other security agencies should be professional rather than taking arbitrary directives. This is not correct. In a democratic setup, things must be done rightly.”


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