According to the Presidency, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State stirred up hatred by targeting an ethnic group with language reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said this in a statement entitled “Statement Concerning Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State”.
In the same way that Hutu leaders incited their countrymen against one another in Rwanda by claiming that there was a “secret Tutsi agenda”, Ortom claimed there was a “secret Fulanization agenda” over other ethnic groups in his state and in Nigeria.
“Wicked talk” was intended to provide cover for his policy on Ranches Establishment Law, which was in fact a denial of the law, to withhold rights and freedoms from one ethnic group alone, while inciting hatred against them among all other groups.
The statement said, “Governor Samuel Ortom has few political principles.”. During his undistinguished career, he has switched political parties five times.
“Whenever he feels the wind blowing in a particular direction, he follows it.
“Unfortunately, for the good citizens of Benue State, the most dangerous wind he blows today is one of sectarianism and ethnicity.
To boost his sinking political fortunes, Ortom takes the cheapest and lowest route possible by playing on ethnic themes – and in so doing knowingly causes deaths of innocent Nigerians by inciting farmers against herders and Christians against Muslims.
“These are not the actions of someone who should be trusted with running public services or holding public office.”.
It is a stain on our country for the governor of a major state in Nigeria to be driven by ethnic hatred. We look forward to the next election when the good, and fair-minded people of Benue State will have the opportunity to restore its greatness.”
During his appearance on Tuesday’s Sunrise Daily on Channels TV, Ortom attacked Buhari’s administration for its handling of security matters, claiming it is the worst in Nigeria.
While criticizing the president’s open grazing policy, the governor expressed disappointment in the way the president handled certain critical matters in the country, especially insecurity.
The President is making me think that he has a secret agenda in this country, Ortom said. “It’s clear that he wants Fulanism, but he’s not the first Fulani president,” Ortom said.
Shagari was a Fulani President, Yar’ Adua was a Fulani President, and they were the best. Buhari, however, is the worst President when it comes to security and keeping his promises.
Describe one accomplishment Mr. President has made in 2015. In 2015, he mentioned human rights, the economy, corruption, and security.
The President is achieving some level of development in other sectors, but the prominent issues that concern Nigerians and that we are worried about.. tell me when Mr. Buhari has addressed them. Is it corruption, we are worst in the history of this country.”