A coalition of three main socio-cultural groups in Benue State, Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Omi Ny’Igede, has lambasted some top political players who are allegedly sponsoring attacks on Governor Samuel Ortom with the aim of tarnishing his image.
The group which represent the three major ethnic groups in the state described Governor Ortom as a man of courage stating that the governor’s criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari was for justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians.
This was contained in a statement issued and made available to Newspot on Friday by, CP Iorbee Ihagh (rtd) Chairman of the three groups.
Tiv worldwide expresses shock over attack on Gov Ortom
The statement reads in full, “We have watched in disbelief, the organized and sustained campaign of hatred and vilification being sponsored in the media against Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom by enemies of the State. No day passes without one press statement or another targeted at tarnishing the image of the Governor and his office.
“Those tasked with the responsibility of vilipending and disparaging the Governor have stopped at nothing in their unholy mission to put his name in disrepute.
“We as leaders of the three main socio-cultural groups in Benue State – Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Omi Ny’Igede, want to make it abundantly clear to those casting aspersions on our Governor that they are up against the entire people of Benue State. Any attack on Ortom is an attack on all of us. We will not fold our arms to watch anyone unbraid our Governor in the manner that such groups are doing.
“Let it be on record that Governor Samuel Ortom has the mandate of Benue people to speak on our collective behalf. He does not speak for himself. We popularly elected him on two occasions, 2015 and 2019 to be our Governor and he has discharged the responsibility efficiently. We the people of Benue State are satisfied with the performance of the Governor this is why stakeholders in the state have on different occasions passed a vote of confidence on him. We don’t need anyone living in Abuja to school us on the Governor’s performance.
“The Governor is in constant touch with Benue people and he gets maximum support from the people on matters of governance. We will no longer take the unprovoked media attacks on the person and office of the Governor!
“We must warn in particular, sons of Benue who have joined forces with our enemies to denigrate Governor Ortom and the state in general. Such individuals should know that their acts of betrayal may be forgiven but never forgotten, and history will judge them accordingly.
“They have introduced a false line of narrative that the Governor hates President Muhammadu Buhari and sees nothing good in the President. For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Ortom does not hate Mr President. The Governor is a man who stands for justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians. He is quick to commend the President whenever he does the right thing but owes no one apology when he constructively criticizes the Presidency and some persons find his statements unpalatable.
“We advise the Presidency to learn to accommodate alternative views from citizens. No government has a monopoly of ideas. The Buhari Presidency has so far demonstrated bias in its handling of very sensitive issues bordering on national cohesion and his administration appears unperturbed about the increasing tempo of agitations for the breakup of the country.
“We expect the Federal Government to be concerned and worried over the millions of Nigerians who are displaced by killer herdsmen and are now living in makeshift camps? Shouldn’t the Federal Government be concerned about ending the spate of killings across the country? Why have security agencies not been directed to arrest even one leader or Miyetti Allah groups who have on several occasions claimed responsibility for the attacks and killings?
“Instead of embracing ranching which is the global best practice of animal husbandry, the Buhari Presidency is busy trying to establish grazing reserves and cattle routes across the country in this century when nations of the world have long abandoned open grazing.
“If Mr President had invested time, energy and emotions into addressing insecurity as he has done in providing cattle routes, grazing reserves and Ruga for herders, Nigeria under him would have gotten to its destination in terms of development.
“It is disheartening that the Presidency has raised a horse-whip on harmless citizens who express their disappointment in the way the country is being run instead of raising the same whip against killer Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists.
2023: Idoma should produce Benue’s next governor – APC Chieftain
“Men of courage like Governor Ortom who have chosen to serve as the conscience of the nation deserve to be commended rather than condemned.
“Lastly, we must reiterate our firm stand behind our Governor to continue to be the voice of the voiceless. Nigeria belongs to all its people. Let no individual or group treat others as second class citizens in their own country”.