Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has raised an alarm on how he was denied entry into the airport by security men while going to receive the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Ortom said he had gone to the airport of Nigeria Airforce in Makurdi on Saturday to receive the vice president who would be transiting to Wukari in Taraba State when security personnel barred him. Governor Ortom who addressed newsmen at the Government House in Makurdi showed the letter from presidency notifying him of the visit of the vice president to the Nigeria Airforce while transiting to Wukari in Taraba State.
The letter was dated 10th February, 2022 and signed by Amb. Abdullahi Gwary, Senior Special Assistant to the president on foreign affairs/ head of protocol office of the vice president, titled, “Visit of His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo,SAN GCON, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria To Wukari, Taraba State Transiting through NAF Base Makurdi, on Saturday, 12th, February, 2022.”
Ortom said in order not to breach the protocol, he decided to abandon other state matters and moved to the airport to receive the vice president but regretted that he was barred from entering the airport.
He said, “It is unfortunate that an ugly incident occurred today which is a breach of protocol and I felt so sad for our country Nigeria where everything has been reduced to politics.
“I was to attend burial ceremony of our leader, Professor Ayua, had made all arrangements to go to Konshisha but a letter was brought to me about the vice president transiting from Makurdi to Wukari
“It is a normal thing that when distinguished people like president or vice president is passing through your state the governor should receive him. “So I asked the deputy governor to represent me at the burial of professor Ayua. “This morning I went to the Airforce base to receive the Vice President who will be transiting to Wukari but unfortunately, I was barred in my own state, it is a breach of protocol.
” While describing the action barring him from entering the airport to receive the vice president as a political move, the governor warned that such would continue to retard development. “This is politics taken too far and somebody must account for this. If the personality of the vice president is passing and I don’t go, it will be a breach of protocol on my side.
“How can I go to Airforce base and I am barred? It has never happened. It is not acceptable. Maybe the presidency that wrote to me is not aware of this and if we must make progress we must learn to differentiate between politics and governance. “It is based on government activities that I welcome the president, vice president that comes here from the federal government.
“I am not a busybody I have so many things to do, as I talk to you the entire Gwer West is under siege. The Fulani have come and were burning houses and I have to shelve everything to receive the vice president. I feel so pained that politics have gone beyond what it supposed to be, and that is very bad. “There is no permanent enemy in politics or permanent friend. Tommorow I can feel to be the best friend of Mr President if they do the right thing. I don’t hate the president or vice president.
All what I am saying is to add value to development. I have never insulted the president, I have never insulted the vice president or the federal government; but there are certain things they are doing, which are wrong. Ortom who reminded President Muhammadu Buhari to shelve the toga of military in a democratic dispensation noted that the executive order 10 the president gave was tantamount to issuing decree but thanked the Supreme Court for the ruling knocking it out.
“You recall the executive order 10 where has the government during the political dispensation issue decree may be because he was military head of state he still believes of issuing decree how can the president usurp the power of national assembly these are things I criticise that is constructive and today I have been vindicated because Supreme Court has ruled that the president does not have power to be issuing decree because he is not a military president but instead should pass through the national assembly,” Ortom said.
He further condemned the federal government for not rising to security challenges confronting the nation “It’s very unfortunate. This presidency is a lame duck. And that is why we are having all these insecurity problems in our country today. That’s is why the economy of this country is going down,” Ortom said.
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