From Uche Nnorom, Makurddi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to bring out the minister in his cabinet accused of corruption for prosecution.
The governor gave the challenge to the President yesterday while speaking with newsmen after declaring open the 2021 Law week of the Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi branch.
Governor Ortom condemned an act where a minister who indulge in corrupt act, is made to walk free without been arrested or prosecuted.
“You can imagine a minister serving currently in the federal Republic of Nigeria was caught buying a $37million estate. And we are told by the EFCC Chairman himself that this Minister remitted $20million to the bank. And EFCC was able to track this money and got it. What have we heard about it? Who is that Minister? If Mr. President is a man of Integrity, he should bring that Minister out and let him face prosecution.
“But this issue of selective justice against people. Is it not here that an APC (National) Chairman came and said when you join APC you have become a Saint and your old sins are forgiven and they will draw a line? Today, you see so many corrupt people in the federal executive council. People who were having cases with EFCC and all that, have you heard about them again? This is the point. And that means there’s selective justice.
“So, they should allow the EFCC to function as enshrined in the law establishing it. They should ensure the anti- corruption agencies function very well. But now, what he is doing is unjustifiable. I know several ministers who have stolen billions and nothing is happening to them. They are not arrested or prosecuted because they are in the ruling party. This is not the democracy we yearned for. This is not the Nigeria we want . Mr. President must come out and show that he is truly President of this country. That he is for everybody and for nobody. That statement is right but the implementation of it is what calls for questions”, Ortom said.
He also, vehemently disagreed with the President’s claim that he is ruling the country according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, maintaining that there are aspects especially on the open grazing laws instead of ranching which he has continually supported.
“There is no provision for open grazing in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But there is provision for the States to make laws for good governance of their States as long as it does not conflict with the provision of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, when our President says he disagrees with banning of open grazing, I begin to wonder what will happen. The National Economic Council is a creation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which the President himself inaugurated and chaired by the Vice President with 36 governors and other ministers. That body represents the entire country and if it take a decision on a policy that will address the problem between farmers and Herdsmen and Mr. President brushed it aside how can he say he is ruling the county according to the constitution. Look at the appointment in the country, is it representing Federal character policy. Let us be frank”, Ortom opined.