Governor Ortom bears no grudge against President Buhari
By Henry Iyorkase Makurdi.
The chief press secretary to the Benue state governor, Mr. Terver Akase, has stated that Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, has no personal grudge against President Muhammadu Buhari, but was only being patriotic.
Akase made the assertion while reacting to the statement by Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in which he said that the president expressed “his disappointment and sadness over Ortom’s litany of accusations against his person and his government, following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.”
According to Akase, in a statement weekend, “Buhari wouldn’t have given approval for such a reckless and insensitive press release.”
According to him, what Garba Shehu ought to have known was that the governor has no personal grudge against the president.
Akase said Ortom, was only being patriotic by calling for justice, equity, fairness and, above all, the rule of law, adding that he expected the president to be the leader of every Nigerian and treat all as his people.
He stated that Governor Ortom was not the only one worried by the worsening security situation in the country, saying that was why he called on the president to rise to his responsibilities by declaring a state of emergency on security and convening a summit to address the numerous security challenges bedevilling the nation.
Akase maintained that, apart from Ortom, many other Nigerians of good conscience had, at different times, made similar calls.
His words: “If Garba Shehu claims that the president is disappointed in the governor for speaking against the sustained attacks on his people, we wonder how he feels about the killings in North East, North West, South East, South West and other parts of the North Central. Are those killings occurring as a result of the comments of governors of the affected states?
“It is shocking that Shehu would make a statement regarding an attack evidently carried out by Fulani herdsmen and there won’t be a single sentence of reproach directed at the violent Fulani herders. Such a deliberate omission smacks of complicity and tacit support for the killer herders. The posture of the federal government has made many Nigerians to conclude that it is complicit and its inaction has emboldened the armed herdsmen to cause greater havoc across the country.
“When the president gave a shoot-on-sight order to security agencies against persons bearing AK47, Ortom was one of the first to support the presidential directive.
The statement said that “the minister of defence came out, a few weeks later, to counter the president’s order; and we expected a reaction from the presidency but, till this minute, no such reaction has been heard.”
“What the governor, therefore, deserves is commendation and not condemnation,” Akase stated.