This is not the best of times for Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom as President Muhammadu Buhari has resorted to using his recent political misfortune at the general election to make mockery of him.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, did not mince words as it called out the governor telling him pointedly that the people of Benue have “rejected” him over the myriads of challenges bedevilling the state.
The Presidency was responding to recent publications in some national dailies that allegedly apportioned the blame of the dire security situation in the state “entirely at the feet of the outgoing president”.
Shehu insisted that despite Buhari’s efforts, the Governor-elect, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has his work cut out, recalling the words of the latter who described Benue as being in the Intensive Care Unit.
“Instead, Ortom stubbornly refused to engage with the detailed, holistic approach clearly spelt out by the Federal Government. He arrogantly chose his own, destructive path,” the statement read.
“He blamed the Fulani for every problem that arose. He ignored numerous intelligence reports passed to him for action. He rejected police findings into investigations that didn’t meet his egotistical worldview. He politicized every life lost on his watch.
“So, thank God the people of Benue rejected him so roundly at elections. His contract was not renewed. He failed a Senate election. Even the person he endorsed for Governorship was rejected.”
The governor lost his Benue North West senatorial bid in the February 25 National Assembly elections. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Titus Uba, whom Ortom had endorsed, also lost to Alia.
“They know better than anyone else the true reasons for the situation in Benue. If anyone is looking for someone to blame, just ask the people of Benue,” Shehu added.