Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has praised a proposal by members of the House of Representatives to ensure that responsible Nigerians have access to authorized self-defense weapons.
The governor further stated that he supports his counterparts in Lagos and Rivers in obtaining court rulings against the FIRS on VAT (Value Added Tax) collection, adding that he is fully supportive of the initiative as long as it is legal.
Governor Ortom, speaking to journalists in Makurdi yesterday after returning from Abuja, said it was unjust for herders to be permitted to carry firearms while farmers must defend themselves with matchetes, arrows, and spears.
The governor praised the House of Representatives for taking the initiative and urged the Senate to follow suit.
He thanked the People’s Democratic Party’s national leadership for selecting him to serve as deputy chairman of the zoning committee for the party’s 2023 zoning arrangements, promising to work along with his colleagues to complete the task.
The governor stated that he had already instructed the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to investigate the contents of the VAT law so that Benue could make an educated choice.
“I’ve asked the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Justice to research the statute and report back to me on its implications.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong in embracing the law as long as it conforms with the constitution, whether it affects states positively or negatively.
“I support the governors of Rivers and Lagos States for what they are doing.
“Anything that is in tandem with the rule of law I will accept, but if anyone thinks otherwise the best thing to do is to go to court.
“I heard they are in court and if the case is decided otherwise by the Supreme Court we will accept it,” he said.
He further said zoning was what determined whether a party would win or lose an election.
The governor said he was confident that his party, the PDP, would get it right and win the 2023 election overwhelmingly to once again rule Nigeria.
He said the party was repositioned to give Nigerians the needed freedom they desired, considering what is happening in the country.
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“There is nothing the APC didn’t promise Nigerians in 2015, I was there but immediately they assumed leadership they did not keep to their promises.
“By October, we will hold our national convention in preparation for the 2023, elections and I believe this time we will get it right. I know, and Nigerians also know, that PDP is the only party that will provide them the freedom to exercise their rights without hitches,” he said.
Ortom also described the media as critical stakeholders in the development of the society, adding that journalists should be given their due honour at all times.