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Buhari, Niger governors meet as protesters block highway

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A man throws a tyre a bonfire on the Kaduna-Abuja highway in Gauruka, near Abuja, Nigeria, on May 24, 2021 during a protest against incessant kidnapping and killing after gunmen kidnapped 16 residents and killed three others in Niger State. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

National dialogue will end agitations, says Ortom

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State met with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, as protesters blocked the Abuja–Kaduna expressway in Gauraka town, decrying kidnapping in the area.

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The distraught governor, who recently alerted Nigerians that Boko Haram terrorists had hoisted their flag in the state after taking territories in the state, was accompanied by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe.

The three governors were believed to have, ostensibly, met with the President over the heightened insecurity in Niger.

Meanwhile, the protesters blocked the expressway and caused heavy gridlock.

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The governors shunned prodding to speak to newsmen when approached on their way out of the Presidential Villa.
HOWEVER, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has reiterated the need for a national dialogue to end agitations in the country.

Ortom re-echoed this yesterday at the Government House, Makurdi when he received participants of the Senior Executive Programme of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, who visited him.

The governor said the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria needed further amendment to make it a more democratic document, stressing that combined with national dialogue, the country would be saved from further crises.

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While pointing out that Benue, as the Food Basket of the Nation, would continue to advocate the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria, the governor stressed that the challenges confronting the country were surmountable.

Leader of the delegation, Professor Fatai Aremu, said they were in the state for a study tour, as the institute had selected Benue among states to be visited by the Senior Executive Programme, as a result of Ortom’s achievements in the state.

He appreciated Ortom for the warm reception accorded the participants since arrival in the state, while a member of Study Group Six, Mrs. Mary Uduk, said that at the end of the tour, they would be better informed about activities and programmes as well as successes and challenges of the Ortom administration.

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