Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday said that he bears no personal grudge against President Mohammadu Buhari as misconstrued by his Senior Special Assistant on media, Mallam Garba Shehu. Ortom was reacting to Shehu’s utterances in which he claimed the President had expressed disappointment and sadness over his (Ortom’s) “litany of accusations against the President and his government’ following the recent unfortunate incidents of killings in Benue particularly the attacks on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Abagena camp by armed Fulani militants where seven people were killed and many others injured.
He was optimistic that the President was not aware of his aide’s outburst and insisted that his call on the President to address the nation, convene a national security summit and declare a state of emergency on security, following pockets of killings in Benue and other states of the federation, was not out of place. Ortom in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, was pessimistic “that Mr. President was not aware that his aide Shehu made such a statement on his behalf. It is clear that the media aide didn’t speak for the President in the said statement.
President Buhari wouldn’t have given approval for such a reckless and insensitive press release. “What Garba Shehu ought to know is that Governor Ortom has no personal grudge against the President. The Governor is only being patriotic by calling for justice, equity, fairness and above all the rule of law.
He expects the President to be the leader of every Nigerian and treat all as his people. “What is wrong with Governor Ortom’s call on the President to address the nation, convene a national security summit and declare a state of emergency on security, following the spate of killings taking place in Benue and the remaining states of the federation? “If Garba Shehu claims that the President is disappointed in the Benue State 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?