THE Benue State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has called on the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, to tender his resignation letter stepping down from his portfolio over his comments on why Fulani herdsmen slaughtered indigenes of the State on New Year day.
The party which made the call in a statement issued on Saturday by the state chairman, Abba Yaro, also described the minister as a disgrace to democracy.
The minister had on Thursday told Nigerians and those who care to listen that the attack on two communities in Benue that led to the death of over 70 innocent people and destruction of properties worth millions of Naira was as a result of the open grazing prohibition law enacted by the State Government.
“I have told you that the remote cause is part of the grazing law,” he told State House Correspondents when asked if he was justifying the killings.
Reacting, Yaro said he should accompany his resignation letter with an unreserved apology to Nigerians.
“By this singular utterance, the Minister of Defence, Col. Muhammad Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) has inarguably displayed incontestable lack of the required sensibility and capacity to serve as Defence Minister in a country of over 180 million people with over 300 ethnic nationalities.
“As an integral part of the country, Nigeria and as a State that gave President Muhammadu Buhari an edge in the 2015 general elections, we demand that Col. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) resigns his position as Nigeria’s Defence Minister immediately and tender an unreserved apology to the good people of Benue State and the country at large.
“Through his statement, as an insider, Dan-Ali appears to have been contracted by the opposition to work against the APC. Minister Mansur apparently is one of those who are working against the unity of Nigeria and must be stopped now before he and others with such parochial, hateful, divisive and repulsive tendencies plunge the country into deeper crisis.
“In as much as we would not dignify Col. Mansur with obnoxious affronts, we would again want to inform him that he is not just an ingrate, but an unrepentant pathological opportunist who was in his farm working for the PDP when many of us toiled the nooks and crannies of this country to ensure victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the election that brought him (Buhari) to power through which he (Mansur) is one of the biggest beneficiaries.”
The party however declared its support for Governor Samuel Ortom, and reiterated its commitment towards making “the open grazing prohibition law our number one priority in the State.”
Meanwhile, Ortom also stated that the statement credited to the Minister was tantamount to dancing on the blood and graves of the innocent pregnant women, children and the elderly killed in the new year attacks on the state by herdsmen that claimed over 73 lives.