Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Saturday accused security protocols of the vice president deliberate breach of order of precedure when they allegedly prevented him from receiving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the airport terminal of Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Base, Makurdi.
Osinbajo was in Benue on a 2day working visit

Ortom alleged that the incident took place on Saturday morning when the visit of the VP was officially communicated to him and he went to receive Vice President Osinbajo as protocol demands.

An enraged Ortom blamed the incident on the security operatives attached to the Vice President.

The governor said the visit of the Vice President was officially communicated to him on February 10 and he went to receive Vice President Osinbajo as protocol demands only for his security aides to bounced him at the gate.

A letter signed by Abdullahi Gwary, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs/Head of Protocol, Office of the Vice President, dated 10th February 2023 informed Governor Ortom of the visit that Osinbajo was heading to Wukari, Taraba state, en route Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The governor who narrated his ordeal to newsmen at the Government House vowed to officially report the matter to the Vice President.

He insisted that someone must account for what happened at the airport.

“It is unfortunate that an ugly incident occurred today, which is a breach of protocol and I feel so sad for our country Nigeria, where everything has been reduced to politics. There are certain things you don’t politicise.

“I was to attend the burial ceremony of one of our elders and leader, Prof Ignitius Ayua; I’d made all arrangements to travel to Konshisha Local Government Area (LGA), then this letter was brought to me, that the Vice-President is going to be in transit, through Makurdi to Wukari.

“I decided to mandate the Deputy Governor (Benson Abounu) to represent me at the burial of Prof. Ayua. So, this morning I got prepared and went to the Air Force Base, where the Vice President is supposed to land, en route Wukari and unfortunately, I was bounced, at the gate; in my own state.

“It is a normal thing, when distinguished dignitaries, like the President or the Vice President, is passing through your state, that the state Governor receives him.

“It doesn’t happen; this is a breach of protocol and this is not accepted; this is politics taken too far; this is not correct and somebody must account for this.

“If a personality like the Vice President is visiting my state and I cannot go there to welcome him, then it will be a breach of protocol on my part. How can I go to the Air Force Base and I am bounced at the gate? I mean this has never happened, anywhere in this country.

“How can you bounce a governor in a state where you are? What is the meaning of that? I feel so pained and I’m going to report this to the Vice President.

” Well if they choose to do something, fine, if they don’t, it’s okay. But that is the kind of thing they want; they want us to remain as a banana republic.

“It’s really unfortunate. I feel very sorry. And those who are keeping quiet, I tell them, one day, they will not be where they are. We must come out together and condemn the evil that is happening in our country. This is not right, ” he said.

He , however , said that it was possible that “the same Presidency that wrote to me is not aware (of what transpired.)

“But I think we should if we must make progress, differentiate between politics and government activities; it is government activity that I welcome Mr President or Vice-President; that I welcome any dignitary that comes here from the Federal Government.”

Furthermore, he noted that We don’t have a constitution. Can’t you differentiate politics from this thing? Have I insulted the president? Have I insulted the Vice-President? All that I’m saying is that let the right thing be done. Let there be justice, equity and fairness.

“I have never insulted the President, the Vice President or the Federal Government but there are certain things that they are doing which are wrong that should be corrected.

“You will recall that even the Executive Order 10, where does the President in a democratic setting have the right to issue decrees? Maybe because he was once a military ruler, he still believes that he would be issuing decrees. He does not have the right.

“How can the President usurp the powers of the National Assembly? These are the things that I criticise and it is constructive. And today, thank God I am vindicated because the Supreme Court has ruled that the President does not have powers to be issuing decrees. He is no longer a military President, he was democratically elected by the people.

“So, if he wants anything, he should pass it through the National Assembly, just like I do when I want anything; I pass it through the State House of Assembly.

“It is very unfortunate that this presidency is barefooted, it is lame duck. And that is why we are having all these insecurity problems in our country today. That’s is why the economy of this country is going down,” he stated

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