On Insecurity, Ortom, the hero Nigerians need according to Prof. Akintoye in 2018
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
In an interview in 2018, an erudite Professor of History from the Southwest, Professor Stephen Adebanjo Akitoye, referred to the governor of Benue state, Dr. Samuel Ortom, as a mentor for all the governors in the South.
The erudite professor without mincing words condemned all the governors from the South (South West, SouthEast and SouthSouth) over their inability to challenge the federal government the way their Benue counterpart was doing in terms of Fulani killings and insecurity.
What did Ortom do then that none of the affected governors in the South couldn’t ? Creating a regional security outfit, the Livestock Guards, which helped Benue state greatly to combat Fulani herders.
According to Akintoye, the Benue state governor spoke at a function where he was present, and at the function, Ortom gave some pieces of advice which other governors must follow.
Part of the advice is what the Southwest governors have followed today by jointly establishing the Amotekun Security outfit.
In the interview, Professor Akintoye who described Ortom as Nigeria’s hero and mentor said: “Governor Ortom is becoming the hero of our time. He has said things that are surprising to those of us from the South.
“There has always been a feeling that one cannot be sure of what the Middle Belt people would do. We now know that they will stand up to defend themselves.
“Ortom is becoming the great hero of the moment. The Tiv are brave people. I sat in an audience in Makurdi and I heard him say, “for me, this is no longer a matter of politics. For now, all talks about political membership, I put them aside and I will defend my people.”
“Those are brave words, especially in a country where every governor is afraid to say the truth. How many governors will dare say that even in the South?
“So, he is becoming the hero of the moment. And that is the right message. It has come to that. If that is the way we handle Nigeria, is there a country left?
“Can anyone say we still have a country left? If all the states that are in danger take a cue from that and there is a whole lot of self defence in our land, can we still say that we are in a country then?
“Some people say we have been hash on Buhari. We are not being hash on him. But it is impossible to avoid certain conclusion. This man is destroying our country”