The presidency on Tuesday warned politicians not to risk further violence at a time when the nation is witnessing heightened insecurity but must promote what brings citizens together.

In a statement from Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), where it admonished, the presidency accused Benue State Governor Sam Ortom of lying about his claim that senior security personnel had personally informed him that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered security forces not to act against the Fulani herders responsible for the recent violence.

The statement informed that the governor made the claim in a recent interview, saying: “These ridiculous claims are patently untrue. If he’s as brave as he claims to be, let him name names. Let him name the soldiers who told him this story or shut up forever.

“It is disappointing that Ortom, who in the same interview describes himself as a child of God who believes in lawfulness and respects the Nigerian Constitution, felt the need to spread such a divisive lie.

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“In a period of heightened insecurity, our politicians should work to bring us closer together, without risking further violence by unfairly trying to divide us further along ethnic or religious lines.

“Fortunately, the cheap dog whistle policy behind Ortom’s lie is clear to everyone. He is not the first opportunist politician to try to sow discord among the people of his country in the run-up to elections; unfortunately he won’t be the last.

“The Nigerian people will see him for what he is: an opportunist showing off his wares as the country prepares to elect its next president; a man who loves to pose in military fatigue and who expects the country to believe Nigeria’s top security personnel would share high-level confidential information with him. To be clear, they don’t.”

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