These are interesting times for Benue. Some of the citizens are falling over themselves to be apologists to enemies of the state. They are not bothered about the safety of their homeland. All that matters is their stomach. This is the reason for the sudden upsurge in media campaigns against Governor Samuel Ortom. They’re masquerading as the mouthpiece of the people of the state. And the simple reason: Ortom has refused to be intimidated.
One, (I hate to continue to ascribe ownership of the piece to Dan-Morgan, but for the purpose of this response, let me allow it.) the latest piece by Dan Morgan-Ihomun’s ‘Benue Patriotic Front’ entitled; ‘Governor Ortom’s Pitiable Litany of Excuses’ is a plagiarised work of a known face. I can smell it in words and mannerisms. I will leave that for another day.
Let me also ignore the attack on my person and distinguished career by the writer who, even with his size and perceived guts, is afraid to own up his words. That’s why he decided to hide behind his finger. Could it be that he has issues with ownership right from birth? Of fact, Ihomun lacks the currency of character and modicum of decency to audit the personality and performance of Governor Ortom. Remember, “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.”
What do I mean? Ihomun described Governor Ortom as “a substandard product.” This smacks of deliberate blindness and deep-seated jealousy and insipid hatred inherent in failures such as Dan-Morgan and the people he’s working for. How could a discerning adult describe Governor Ortom that defied the odds of poverty and vagaries of motor park life to become a two-time governor through a popular and overwhelming mandate of Benue people?
Is it possible that the faces behind these media attacks have forgotten that Ortom served as Minister of State, Trade and Investment as well as Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic? Is such a man a substandard product? Have they also forgotten that Ortom was the best Local Government Chairman when he served as a Council Chairman of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State?
The parasitic individuals using Ihomun to throw darts at Governor Ortom are indeed blind because they have refused to acknowledge that this ‘substandard’ Ortom had served the biggest and largest party in Africa at the state and national levels as its secretary and national auditor respectively. The same ‘substandard product’ was a key figure in the national campaign council of the PDP that successfully midwifed the election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. Before becoming Governor, Ortom was a very successful businessman and renowned entrepreneur.
Just so as to win the admiration of their paymasters, they brandish lies that Governor Ortom hates Mr President. The Bible encourages us to pray for our leaders. It is on record that when the President was sick and flown abroad, Governor Ortom organised a prayer and fasting session that lasted for days. Benue prayed for the recovery of the President and God answered the prayers. Governor Ortom prays for President Buhari and other leaders of this country on daily basis. He doesn’t look for favours from the Presidency when doing that. It is because Ortom is an exposed, experienced, civilised and God-fearing leader and can never descend into the abyss of demonic exchange and employ foul language to insult the President of this country. The non-existent feud may be the imaginary conflict created by crisis merchants such as the group using Ihomun to win patronage.
These same characters always boast of Borno and other states as performing better than Benue. This is laughable. Assuming Governor Ortom concentrates all his resources to the state capital, maybe these lousy lot would have found time to applaud his administration. Or at best, if he had agreed to move into APC, they would have described him as the best Governor in this dispensation. Evidence of the high praise they sang of him when he was in APC is still fresh in the archives.
The truth is that Governor Samuel Ortom disagrees with the President on principles and impeccable issues of national interest such as security and the economy. Ortom’s only concern is the Presidency’s poor handling of the worsening insecurity across the country particularly, Benue State. This is due to the President’s obvious nepotism and unbelievable support for his kinsmen. Governor Ortom has on several occasions written to the Presidency, pointing out the open threats against the state by the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who vowed to ensure that blood flows in Benue because of the law banning open grazing in the state. None of these people has been arrested or questioned. This has emboldened the killer herdsmen to visit more atrocities on Benue people and other defenceless Nigerians.
It is obvious that Dan-Morgan and his partners are happy when Fulani herdsmen attack and kill hapless and innocent citizens of Benue in Agatu, Guma, Katsina-Ala, Ukum, Kwande, Makurdi, Gwer, Gwer-West, Tarka where he comes from. We can see that these emergency good governance advocates are not bothered about the inhuman and murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen in Benue and other states of the Federation.
Let me say this. If some of you who are paid to discredit Governor Ortom using means possible because of his stand against the territorial conquest agenda are happy over the bloodletting agenda of these herdsmen, the Governor will not change his stand. He won’t fold his arms and watch the people who elected him and whom he swore on oath to defend be endlessly mauled down by the evil and marauding herdsmen.
In any case, I must appreciate Dan-Morgan for acknowledging that “It is true that Nigeria has been ravaged” under the Buhari Presidency. At least, he has agreed with Governor Ortom on the fact that the Buhari Presidency is a disaster and failure.
So, let those who sponsored Dan-Morgan be reminded that Governor Ortom is not in competion with President Buhari. Ortom is only interested in the President performing his functions and discharging his responsibilities in line with the oath of his office and the numerous promises he made to Nigerians. Mr President promised in 2015 and 2019 that he will tackle insecurity, corruption and revamp our economy. It is not for Mr President to leave room for this nation to become a safe haven for kidnappers and armed bandits.
In Nigeria today, life has become increasingly meaningless. Schools are no longer safe for our children. And it is one of the reasons Governor Ortom is constantly reminding the President to respect his oath of office and defend the constitution, protect lives and property and work for the welfare of every Nigerian irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affinity. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Ikyur is the Principal Special Assistant on Media to the Executive Governor of Benue State