Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has challenged President Buhari to a televised national debate on the state of insecurity in the county.
Ortom told journalists in Makurdi on Thursday, that the statement released by the Presidency in response to his recent interview on Channels Television where he raised a number of concerns about the security situation across the country was not only barefooted but lacked substance.
“I stand with what I said on Channels. I challenge them to a debate on channels Television about the issues. Nobody can intimidate me.”
The governor, in a statement later made available by his Spokesman, Terver Akase, said the statement by Shehu showed ‘the quality of the presidency Nigeria currently has.
“They abandoned the message and went for the messenger. To describe as ‘undistinguished’, the career of a man who has held many key positions at the state and national levels proves that those who penned the piece were under the influence of some negative substances.
“We advise the presidency to focus on ending the killing of innocent Nigerians, fix the economy as it promised and stop the stinking corruption under their watch.
“They can’t run away from their responsibility. They were brought to power to serve the country not to oppress the people and suppress their freedom of speech. They are on record to have publicly promised during their campaigns before the 2015 elections that they would respect the rights and freedoms of Nigerians if elected. Sadly, what the people of this country have got from the current government is the opposite of that promise,” he said.
Ortom said the past political offices he had held including that of a minister and his current status as governor underscored his distinguished political career.
NewsWireNGR had earlier reported that the National Broadcasting Commission had summoned Channels Television and threatened sanctions for airing the controversial interview.