Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Saturday, May 8, responded to his Kaduna counterpart; describing him as “one of the real enemies” of Nigeria.
Ortom was responding to an earlier statement credited to Governor Nasir El-Rufai; where the latter reportedly accused the Benue Governor of attacking the federal government to cover for his failure to secure Benue state.
“Nasir el-Rufai is a sycophant, ethnic champion, and religious bigot who hates anyone who does not share the same faith with him,” a statement signed by Ortom’s spokesman, Terver Akase, said.
“He is among the very few persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari.
“El-Rufai is one of the real enemies of this country who do not hide their divisive tendencies; by elevating nepotism and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades.”
Communities in Benue have recently come under attack from suspected herdsmen; prompting Ortom to accuse President Buhari of working with Fulani to take over Nigeria.
The Presidency, in response to Ortom’s comment, has expressed disappointment in the Governor.
Other parts of the statement read, “We read the statement credited to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai in which he accused Governor Samuel Ortom of using the insecurity in his state to attack the Federal Government; in order to cover up what he termed as the Benue State Governor’s failure.
“We want to believe that El-Rufai was wrongly quoted. A man who has failed in several aspects as Governor of Kaduna has no moral justification to accuse another Governor.
“A Governor who has divided the good people of Kaduna against one another by not hiding his hatred of indigenes of the state; on account of religion and ethnicity is not qualified to judge another Governor on any issue whatsoever. A Governor who chose a Muslim deputy in a state where Christians have a huge population is certainly not one to preach unity and peaceful co-existence.
“El-Rufai and his conspirators must note that Benue State will not repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law; no matter the amount of blackmail, hatred, and threats they wage against Governor Ortom.
“We advise the Kaduna State Governor to focus on addressing the numerous problems he has created in his state; and leave Governor Ortom to lead Benue in peace.”