Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday, August 26, 2021, raised alarm over an alleged plot by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to make the state ungovernable and declare a state of emergency.
The governor urged Nigerians to call the Presidency to order before it throws the country into fragments.
Ortom was reacting to accusations by the presidency that he was stirring ethnic tensions and calling for genocide in the country.
The presidency came hard on the governor after he spoke on a national television where he slammed President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration for not being able to tackle the growing insecurity situation bedevilling the country.
But Governor Ortom, who fired back at the Buhari government, tasked the presidency to address the issues he raised in the interview, insisting that no amount of blackmail and media attack on him can discourage him from speaking against the injustice and pain the present government has inflicted on Nigerians.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor 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.”