Gov Ortom Warns FG to be Proactive over ISWAP Recruitment raised by Borno Governor

                         Gov Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has urged the Federal Government to take the alarm raised by the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum on the recruitment of more fighters by the Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP seriously.
Governor Ortom spoke Tuesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi when he received a delegation from the Victim Support Fund, VSF, led by its Chairperson, Mrs Toyosi Akerele Ogunsij. 
VSF was also led by a former Chief of Army Staff, retired General Theophilus Danjuma.
Governor Ortom also called on government and non-governmental organizations to evolve security strategies that will see the return of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs to their ancestral homes without delay to continue with their normal life activities.
The Governor said, he want to lend my voice to what my colleague in Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum who has cried out against the activities of ISWAP in that part of the country. Ortom asked that the Federal Government should not take this alarm from the threats of ISWAP for granted.
Ortom also urged the Federal Government to “take proactive steps to send away terrorists from Nigeria so that Nigerians can live in peace. According to him, Nigerians cannot continue this way, Nigeria deserves more peace than what they have now.
He frowned that immediately he came in as Governor in 2015, he foresaw the danger of allowing the activities of Fulani militia herdsmen to fester for long without a permanent solution, the result of which, he said, “we are seeing today.”
He, however, noted that “the strategic support we want now is to enable our people living in IDP camps to return to their ancestral lands. Our people want to go back to their communities so that they can live their normal lives.”
In his response, Governor Ortom said his idea of conducting a mass burial for victims of the January 1st, 2018 killings by militia herdsmen was to draw attention to the security situation in the country, saying leaders at all levels need to speak out against the ills in the country.
The Governor commended the VSF under the leadership of retired General Danjuma for intervening in some critical areas in the plight of the IDPs in Benue, describing the elder statesman as forthright and outspoken on national issues.
Governor Ortom called on VSF to intensity support in the areas of improved healthcare services to IDPs, upscale its educational activities from primary to secondary education in the camps, support NGOs to continue to render help to the IDPs among others.
Earlier, Mrs Ogunsiji said they were in the state to get details from the Governor on critical areas VSF should intervene on both short and long term basis, so the organization does not just throw money at the problems confronting the IDPs.
She said the visit followed a request by Governor Ortom to the VSF for support to the IDPs, stressing that a visit to the camps has revealed to the team the unhealthy nature of the environment inhabited by the IDPs.

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