The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to do anything to truncate democracy.
Ortom gave the warning during the president’s meeting with traditional rulers at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Makurdi, Benue State.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Ortom was quoted as saying that the president was known to be a man of integrity and that he was known to always keep his words.
Ortom said he would therefore like to believe that the president would keep his promise of conducting a credible election.
His words: “We believe you are a man of integrity and you keep your words. I will like to believe that you will not do anything to truncate our democracy.”
Meanwhile, the president has announced that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, will soon commence drilling for a deeper search for oil and gas in the Benue Trough.
This, he said, is the next step following the commencement of drilling in the Kolmani River area, located within Bauchi and Gombe states.
President Buhari who made the announcement while addressing traditional rulers in Benue State recalled that as Minister of Petroleum in the 70s, he had seen “very interesting seismic surveys” that promised oil and gas from the Chad Basin through the Benue Trough down to the Delta region.
He said for mostly commercial reasons, investment was directed to the Niger Delta given the promise of quicker results.
He narrated past efforts by him as Military Head of State to diversify the country’s sources of oil to strengthen its unity, promising that his administration would intensify efforts in this direction.
President Buhari welcomed the observation by the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, that peace had been restored to Benue State following the spike, sometimes back in farmers and herders’ clashes as well as the fact the President had so far conducted a decent and a peaceful campaign.
The President promised to look at requests for more roads, bridges and tertiary institutions made by the royal father.
Earlier, the Tor Tiv expressed appreciation to President Buhari, “for the way and manner you have conducted peaceful campaign, no riots, no violence, setting good example. We had a challenging time in 2016. Thanks for your intervention, for accepting our appeal to step up security. Operation Whirl Strike has succeeded in chasing away violent herders.”
He also called for a closer look at the border to stop “criminals and bandits” from crossing into Nigeria.