The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has hit back at the Presidency, asking them to address the issues he raised.
Ortom had in an interview with Channels TV accused the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of providing cover for herdsmen who have been responsible for wanton destruction and killings within the last few years.
However, the Presidency through Garba Shehu, hit back in a quick fashion, accusing the governor of stirring a Rwanda-like ethnic campaign against the Fulanis; an allegation Ortom fiercely denied.
However Ortom in a statement on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase said the presidency via its “unguarded comments” would one day plunge the country into more chaos.
The governor said he was aware of a plot by the Presidency to cause crisis in the and make the state ungovernable and declare a state of emergency.
The statement read, “We read the statement released by the Presidency in response to Governor Samuel Ortom’s recent interview on Channels Television in which he raised a number of concerns bordering on the worsening security situation across the country.
“The tone of the said statement shows the quality of Presidency Nigeria currently has. They abandoned the message and went for the messenger. To describe as ‘undistinguished’, the career of a man who has held many key positions at the state and national levels proves that those who penned the piece were under the influence of some negative substances.
“The Governor 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, Shehu went chasing vain and mundane matters in a desperate attempt to malign the Governor.
“We demand an apology from the Presidency for accusing Governor Ortom of stirring ethnic tensions and calling for genocide. The Presidency has never hidden its hatred for the Governor and its latest outing only confirms that fact.
“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.
“The Presidency must realise 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.
“Governor Ortom stands by his words that this is not the first time a Fulani man is President of Nigeria, and also that it is the first time the country has been divided on ethnic lines with lopsided appointments in promotion and celebration of nepotism, marginalization and open repugnance of other Nigerians. At no time in the history of this country have impunity, blatant disregard for laws, sectarian as well as ethnic differences been fueled by the government as we now see.
“Governor Ortom urges the good people of this country to call the Presidency to order before it destroys Nigeria. If nothing is done fast to avert the impending disaster, armed herders, bandits and other terrorists will one day take over Aso Rock Villa and those occupying the Villa at the moment will willingly surrender to them and flee from the country.”
SaharaReporters, New York