Governor Samuel Ortom has retaliated against the Buhari administration after being accused of making remarks reminiscent of the Rwandan massacre in response to the president’s approval of a review of grazing routes in 25 states.
In a statement released by his media aide Terver Akase in response to the claim, the Benue state governor said he spoke for many Nigerians on the “specific areas of failure of the presidency and its complicity in the heinous crimes committed against citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists.”
Ortom also requested an apology from the president for accusing him of inciting ethnic tensions and calling for genocide, claiming that his government is aware of the president’s plan to create a crisis in Benue and render the state ungoverned in order to declare a state of emergency.
The statement read;
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“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.
“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.
“We advise 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.
“They can’t run away from their responsibility. They were brought to power to serve the country not to oppress the people and suppress their freedom of speech.
“They are on record to have publicly promised during their campaigns before the 2015 elections that they would respect the rights and freedoms of Nigerians if elected. Sadly, what the people of this country have got from the current government is the opposite of that promise.”