UK lawmaker says report on Nigeria far from reality, as Governor Ortom addresses London event

UK lawmaker says report on Nigeria far from reality, as Governor Ortom addresses London event

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom is deeply concerned over the activities of terrorists operating in Nigeria, saying “the country is under siege” and needs to be helped to come out from the pangs of terrorist groups holding the country to ransom.

Governor Ortom who made this known during his visit to the United Kingdom also challenged Nigerians in Diaspora to use the international environment with its free press to call attention to the evil going on in their country and speak against religious extremism.

Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora Affairs, Peter Ichull quotes him as also calling for religious freedom in Nigeria, insisting that the people’s fundamental human rights must be protected by the Federal Government.

Governor Ortom raised the alarm while addressing Nigerians in Diaspora and friends of Nigeria at the Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) International Ministerial Fringe Events on Nigeria, organised by the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation and the International Peace-Building and Social Justice in London.

He said “The bombing of Churches and killing of worshippers was a calculated attempt to send fear into the living to restrict their religious freedom”. The Governor stressed that freedom is humanity’s most valuable commodity, which is equally the most contested.

Ortom also called for proportionate pressure from the international community and advocated for the “Mobilisation at the local and international levels to ensure that we roll back this dark cloud of rabid religious intolerance and accompanying violence by radical Islam in Nigeria”.

Speaking further, the Governor urged the International Organisation for Peace-Building and Social Justice, PSJ UK, organisers of the International Ministerial Fringe Events on Nigeria, and other organizations with like-minded objectives to use their voices to ensure that the Federal Government of Nigeria lives up to its constitutional responsibilities of promoting and upholding Nigeria’s status in words and in actions.

According to Governor Ortom, for the Federal Government to ensure every citizen is given a sense of belonging, Nigerians of all religions and beliefs must be treated equally.

Other recommendations outlined by the Governor for the institution of sustainable peace in the country include, prosecution of all religious offenders according to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” and “ensuring the return and rehabilitation of all Internally Displaced persons to their ancestral lands” as well as “payment of full compensation to all victims of religious persecution and insecurity and ensuring that victims of religious persecution get justice.

Responding, 85-year-old Baroness Caroline Cox, a peer in the House of Lords observed that the invitation for Ortom to address such an important gathering was justified as his voice on topical issues in Nigeria had gained international recognition.

Cox assured participants that she would explore ways of ensuring that education and healthcare were a priority for those who are displaced.

The MP, however, lamented that the British Government reports on problems affecting Nigeria were too mild and far from reality, saying, “The report, so far, is a government position and not adequate”.

She thanked independent researchers and other public-spirited organizations that have taken the responsibility of unearthing the truth about happenings in Nigeria.

He noted that these reports will convince the British Government to adopt policies that would help vulnerable people of Nigeria get international attention and justice at home.

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