Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has accused the alleged cabal in the Presidency of trying to instigate bad blood between him and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ortom who stated this in a chat with newsmen at Tse Agberagba in Konshisha Local Government Area of the state said that the statement credited to the Presidency that he was embarking on a hate campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari was coming from the cabal in the Presidency.
“I read the statement; it was an unfortunate statement; I’m sure it’s not coming from Mr President but it is coming from the Presidency.
“I’m sure that the statement made by Garba Shehu was coming from the cabal that the wife of the president is complaining about. It cannot be from Buhari. I have never insulted Buhari. I have not made any hate speech against him at any given time.
While debunking claims that he had been going to churches telling the people that the president was trying to Islamise the country, Governor Ortom said at no time in his campaigns had he insulted the person of the president.
“In my campaigns, I have never insulted President Buhari; I have never made any hate speech against him at any given time. If I talk of Miyetti Allah claiming responsibility for the killings in Benue State, it came from them and it was before the media and everybody knew about it.
“If I talk about FUNAM who did a press conference in Kano and proclaimed that the killings in Benue were a continuation of 1804 Jihad, it didn’t come from me, it came from them.
“I called for the arrest of those people because they were making hate speeches and displaying impunity in this country and I reported them to security agencies; I expected that those people should have been arrested. And I was just repeating that.
“Garba Shehu cannot tell me where I will go and do my campaigns. If I’m in church, I will also go to the mosque. I respect the Muslims for who they are and I respect the church too. That is my background and where I come from. I am a Christian.
“Can Garba Shehu come and tell me where to go and campaign? He doesn’t have the right. He is from APC and I’m from PDP and I’m campaigning to win the election for my party and my presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, because I believe that he will not keep a cabal in the Villa.
“I am a man and not a woman. And that is why I respect the wife of the president who called all of us to come back, that where are the men in this country? Should we allow the cabal in the Villa to ruin this country?
“I’m not a coward. It’s a coward that will die 20 times before his actual death. Time has come for us to say the truth in this country; whether it is going to be with our lives, we should say it in order to save this country and save democracy.”
The governor described the arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal as impunity of the highest level which must have been instigated by the same cabal in Buhari’s government.
“Look at what is happening; looking at the issue of arraigning the CJN, this is impunity at its highest level. I always say that we must respect the rule of law. That is the only way we can preserve ourselves and even the positions we hold.
“Anything outside that will result in impunity and when there is impunity, you are inviting anarchy and when there is anarchy, no one knows where it will lead us to.
“Look, nobody should be above the law; we should respect the law; the Presidency should respect the law; I should respect the law; everybody should respect the law. That is the only way we can preserve this country because Nigeria belongs to all of us.
“All of us are stakeholders and we cannot fold our hands and see things being destroyed by individuals; I have no time for that; Garba Shehu should go and concentrate on his job. He should stop trying to create hatred between the president, and I because I have no issues with the president.
“I talk about issues of the campaign. And if they are talking about hate speech, they should go and arrest FUAM and Miyetti Allah members who made that statement and yet, they are going around doing all sorts of illegal things, creating hate and confusion among Nigerians and nobody is out to say anything rather. Rather one hears agents of government come out to give backing to Miyetti Allah.
“Why should I keep quiet; I will not keep quiet unless justice, equity and fairness are accomplished by the Federal government. It is my responsibility to the people of Benue State to govern the state with laws as long as they do not conflict with the provisions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“But it is also the responsibility of the Federal government to enforce any law whether by the states or Federal government; so what is my offence,” Ortom asked.