Dismissing Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom’s amnesty programme and governance footing as insincere, former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, opens up to journalist in Makurdi our correspondent Aviashima Toom was there for National Daily Except.
The amnesty programme of Governor Samuel Ortom has come to an end. How would you assess the whole process as a security expert?
Right from day one I knew that the amnesty programme was a fraud. It was intended to achieve just one purpose. It was intended to bring in Ghana (a militant) and pardon him so that the Ortom government will use him as their hit man and that is what they have achieved because they have not extended this amnesty programme to other areas of Benue State. I expected people in Guma area who have a lot of thugs there, who have a lot of arms come to surrender these. This is because that was where the Fulani were confronting our home farmers and many young men there were armed. But I did not see a single person from that area who has come to surrender his arms.
These same thugs in Guma were the same people who had attacked Hausa community in Gbajimba. This Hausa community has been there for over a hundred and fifty years ago. Their great grand-parents are buried in Guma. These armed youths came, attacked them, and demolished all their buildings, even houses of worship. In fact, no Hausa man was left standing – and this people I speak about, none of them came out to surrender arms. Yet, Ortom wants us to believe that this thing is genuine.
In my area in Vandeikya, nobody came out to surrender arms, the people I knew that surrendered arms are those from the Katsina Ala axis. So I don’t know how the amnesty programme is going to work. There was one boy they use to call ‘Spaco.’ He is also notorious or was notorious in the past administration. Did they give him the opportunity like they gave Ghana to surrender his arms? Rather, am aware they are chasing him to lock him up. So, I think Ortom is very, very partial and I will say it again that his amnesty programme is just directed at giving ‘Ghana’ a Lee way and a soft landing so that he can use him for future elections. As long as live, I will continue to say it until the right thing is done.
So what happens to those other zones that did not turn in their arms?
You see, the problem here is that even Ortom had confessed in the past that he was a thug; a motor park thug and that he was also a head of militia and so maybe, he only identified members of his own militia group and gave them amnesty or soft landing. He never did this for the interest of the state but for the sole purpose of giving soft landing to Ghana. He is not interested in any amnesty programme. It is deceit and unfortunately, he has given more powers to Ghana now. You see, the Nigerian Police Force is the oldest security outfit in this country, the oldest and therefore more experienced. Why are they using Civil Defence to go about with Ghana? The man is confused, he was not prepared for the job and he does not know what to do. He is only here to create enmity and also amass wealth for himself and his children.
What is your take on the recent invitation of former Governor Gabriel Suswam by the EFCC?
You see, the president in his inaugural speech told Nigerians that he was going to concentrate more on the future and not the past. He talked about what the new administration had for us. Here in Benue State, Ortom came on board and set up a lot of committees including a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe Suswam.
His agents also reported Suswam to the EFCC. The agency invited Suswam to investigate the allegations – which is very normal. If Ortom has anything for us, he should forget about Suswam and think about his own programmes, think about what he intends to do for the people of Benue State.
But when he goes to Church, Suswam has stolen; he goose to burials, Suswam has stolen, everywhere he goose, Suswam has stolen. He has forgotten that he has his own programmes to pursue but Suswam has become his nightmare. Only recently, he went to America and contacted Benue people there to give him a blueprint and came back and set up committees. Ortom’s government is run by committees upon committees and committees. He has not told us when he is going to start running this government.
Another worrisome thing again is that this man has money to pay workers and he calculated the whole thing based on the debts that were owed to all category of people in the state. Now, they paid this money he wants to screen them. What was the need of screening them when he had already taken their pay vouchers to Abuja to enable him access the money. What does he want to do with the surplus money? Pensioners, I am now told, were not captured. He is just a confused man who does not have the capacity to rule us. I am sorry for the people of Benue State that as a governor, Ort