By Sunday Iduh
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said, if the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar wants the votes of Benue people, he should retract his statement on the killings in Gbeji.
The governor stated this Wednesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi during a solidarity visit by members of the coalition of JEMGBA Youths Association, where they also threw their weight behind his senatorial ambition. JEMGBAGH comprises of Gboko, Buruku and Tarka Local Government Areas.
He said Atiku has been blindfolded by his ambition to be president, stating that he thinks Fulani alone can make him president.
Governor Ortom, who joined the youths in condemning the statement of Atiku on the killing in Gbeji, disclosed that he never apologized to Atiku that Tiv people were stealing his cow and killing themselves. “We know our enemies. Miyetti Allah has come out clearly to own up to the killings in the state and nothing has been done about it.
The governor assured the people that PDP was the way to go. According to him, “our party will win all the elections in the state. Benue is PDP and PDP is Benue State,” he stated.
He said those who were ready to respect the laws of the state are welcomed to the state but however, warned those who would do otherwise to stay away from the state.
Governor Ortom commended the youths for understanding the situation and charged them to shun acts capable of bringing the state into disrepute. “Let us work together for the things that will bring equity, fairness and justice to the nation,” he stated.
Speaking on behalf of the three local governments of JEMGBAGH, Gboko Local Government Chairman, Isaac Mtom expressed appreciation to the governor for his giant strides in JEMGBAGH and the entire state.
He said no governor has ever done what Governor Ortom has done in Gboko Local Government and disclosed that people were solidly behind the senatorial ambition of the governor.
Mtom lamented the killing in Gbeji and the unfortunate statement that emanated from Atiku Abubakar and advised that politics should be put aside as far as the issues of security were concerned.
The Gboko council boss maintained that, “the fact that we are in the same party should not deter us from speaking the truth. We need a united Nigeria.”
President, Coalition of JEMGBAGH Youths Association, Terver Kyernum in a remark, congratulated the governor for his sterling performance in office which has engendered massive transformation of the state in the last seven and half years. He equally sympathized with Governor Ortom on the recent massacre of farmers in various parts of the state by Fulani herdsmen.
Kyernum disclosed that the group frowns at the recent outing of Abubakar. “Your Excellency Sir, we join other men of conscience and goodwill in condemning in strong terms, some unfortunate utterances credited to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar wherein he openly declared hatred for you and rationalized the incessant killing of innocent farmers in Benue state by Fulani bandits and terrorists,” he stated.
The group, while expressing their support for the senatorial ambition of the governor, said they were not happy with the presidential candidate of the PDP.
“We are highly disappointed in those unfortunate comments from Atiku and demand an apology and assurance that it would not happen again, except he is not counting on the votes of Benue people to realize his ambition of winning the 2023 presidential election,” he said.