BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), on Monday took a critical look at the political development in Benue State and declared that they are seriously embarrassed that a supposed democratic government of President Muhammadu Buhari would resort to thuggish tactics where political engagement is needed.
The SMBLF stressed that the thuggish move is a serious throwback to full blown dictatorship and the dark days of putting human beings in crate.
In a statement signed Mr. Yinka Odumakin – South West, Senator Bassey Henshaw – South South, Prof Chigozie Ogbu -South East and Dr Isuwa Dogo – Middle Belt and made available to Forefront, members of the Forum said they want to let President Buhari to know in advance that he would be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Benue and any possible loss of lives.
The Forum therefore called on the international community to pay particular attention to the on-going subversion of the democratic process in Benue State by the Buhari government.
The statement reads in part; “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.
“We are aware of the barring of fangs and instigation of anarchy by the General Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in Benue State to carry out a ruthless and desperate plot that was hatched this morning.
“The plot involved drafting policemen from Abuja and neighbouring states to force the majority 22 members of the State Assembly out of the Assembly complex to pave way for the impeached Speaker, Hon Terkimbi Ikyange and six others to sit.”
The Southern and Middle Belt Forum noted that the gangsteric operations which was said to have been led by the Benue State AC OPS, Emmanuel Adesina, witnessed a sad situation in which the minority members sitting without the Assembly’s mace and the Clerk, allegedly suspended the majority 22 members as well as served impeachment notice on Governor Ortom.
The Forum further said; “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 State 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.”