Friday, August 27, 2021 9:04 am
The relationship between the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom and the President Buhari led administration, took a turn for the worse on Thursday, with Ortom accusing the presidency of plotting to make Benue ungovernable, in order to declare a state of emergency on the State.
The Governor made the accusation in a statement by Mr. Terver Akase, his Chief Press Secretary, in Makurdi, the State capital. Akase who was reacting to an earlier accusation of creating tension through ethnic hatred by the Presidency, said his boss cannot be intimidated from speaking the truth, urging Nigerians to call the President to order..
The presidency came hard on the governor after he spoke on a national television and condemned President Buhari and his administration for not being able to tackle the growing insecurity situation bedeviling the country.
But Akase fired back and tasked: “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.
“We are aware of the presidency’s plot to cause crisis in Benue and make the state ungovernable and declare a state of emergency. Whenever each of their plans fails as it happened with the impeachment attempt on the governor before the 2019 elections, they resort to cheap blackmail.
“They accuse Governor Ortom of making a law to chase Fulanis out of Benue; a claim that lacks substance and only goes to prove that they have not read the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state. They can’t justify their narrative that Governor Ortom hates Fulanis when some of his appointees are Fulani.
“The presidency must realize that no amount of blackmail and media attack can discourage the governor from speaking against the injustice and pain the present government has caused Nigerians. No amount of sponsored smear campaigns against the governor can force him to repeal the law on open grazing of cattle in Benue State,” the statement said.
Ortom said as far as he knew, “he spoke the minds of most Nigerians on specific areas of failure of the presidency and its complicity in the heinous crimes committed against citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists. Instead of taking the governor on those points, Garba Shehu went chasing vain and mundane matters in a desperate attempt to malign the governor.”