From:Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has again implored Nigerians, irrespective of religious and political affiliations to uphold unity, peace and dialogue as panacea for the myriad of problems confronting the country.
The Governor’s advice is coming on the heels of a statement credited to a group known as Muslim Solidarity Forum which asked the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah to tender an unreserved apology over his Christmas Day message or leave Sokoto State.
Governor Ortom maintained that the statement is a contradiction of provisions of the Constitution which accord Nigerians the right to live freely in any part of the country.
He added that the statement by the group directing Bishop Kukah to apologize or leave Sokoto State is a clear affirmation that Nigeria is being controlled by forces which are bent on setting the country ablaze if their interests are not guaranteed.
The Governor stated that Nigerians – both Christians and Muslims need to set aside religious and other sentiments to come together in humility to fast and pray for peace and unity of the country, rather than the current situation where some persons are fanning embers of disunity and hatred.
He said the Holy Bible admonishes the people to pray for their leaders and stresses that what is happening in the country at the moment is beyond human comprehension and cannot be tackled by President Muhammadu Buhari alone.
Governor Ortom advised the people who love Nigeria should desist from making inflammatory statements capable of heightening tensions and taking the country to the precipice of chaos and disintegration.
The Governor commended the Federal Government for issuing a statement to caution the group and reminding its members of provisions of the Constitution which guarantee the right of Nigerians to reside in any part of the country.
He stated that Bishop Kukah remains a true patriot who speaks to give direction and make recommendations on the way the people should be governed in an equitable and just manner.