Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has declared that the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah was right in his presentation to the United States Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the wave of insecurity in Nigeria.
Governor Ortom further urged the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to stop intimidating anyone who disagrees with the way they are running the affairs of the country.
The Benue Governor said the rights of citizens to express themselves should not be suppressed as the country is operating a democratic system of government and not a dictatorship.
Naija News recalls Kukah had slammed the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration over religious crisis in Nigeria.
The outspoken cleric noted that although the attack on Christians in Nigeria has been happening for many years now, it has risen in the last 10 years.
Bishop Kukah stated this during a virtual presentation with the US Congress in Washington on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria by Islamic extremist groups in the Northern Region of Nigeria.
The Catholic leader told the US Congress that extremists, bandits, Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram were targeting many schools in the North especially, Christian ones and are “indoctrinating the children. They end up converting these children to wives, cooks, spies, sexual slaves and so on.”
In its response, the presidency berated the Bishop over his comments during the meeting with members of the US Parliament.
The president’s Media and Publicity Assistant, Garba Shehu accused Kukah of carrying out the work of opposition political parties.
While insisting that there is no bias against Christians in the present administration, the presidency stated that appointments are not given based on tribe or religion.
Garba Shehu also pointed out that most of those affected by bandits, Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram are mostly northern Muslims.
Adding his voice to the matter, Governor Samuel Ortom in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase declared support for Bishop Kukah on the issues he raised.
“Kukah was right when he stated that nepotism has been elevated above federal character by the present administration.
“It is also true that Christians across the country are targets of elimination and thousands have already fallen to the sword of jihadist supremacists.
“However, Kukah is not to blame for the ranking of Nigeria as the 8th least peaceful country in Africa and the rating of killer herdsmen as the 4th deadliest terror group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index.
“I expected the Presidency to rather be worried that Nigeria is ranked as the most terrorized nation in Africa with an average of over 2,000 deaths per year on account of terrorism,” he said.
While calling on the federal government to go after criminal Fulani herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers, Ortom recalled how President Buhari back in February 2015 as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while delivering a speech at Chatham House in London, stated that “Boko Haram has sadly put Nigeria on the terrorism map, killing more than 13,000 of our nationals.”
“The President went on to announce to the world on that occasion that apart from the civil war era, Nigeria had never been more insecure in the country’s history.
“If a man who was seeking to govern the country could reel out such scary statistics, why will his aides now launch media attacks on a clergyman who is only advocating peace and is drawing the attention of the global community to the plight of helpless Nigerians.”