The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday rose to the defence of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over the charge levelled against him by the presidency on Wednesday, The Niche is reporting.
Ortom drew the first blood on Tuesday when has slammed the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as the worst when it comes to handling security matters.
The governor who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily said he was disappointed at the way the president has handled certain critical matters in the country, especially security.
“Mr President is pushing me to think that what they say about him, that he has a hidden agenda in this country is true,” Ortom said, adding: “because it is very clear that he wants to Fulanise but he is not the first Fulani president.
“Shagari was a Fulani President, Yar’ Adua was a Fulani President and they were the best in the history. But President Buhari is the worst President when it comes to issues of security and keeping his promises.”
But the Presidency fired back on Wednesday.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, slammed Ortom over his comments.
Defending his principal, he stated that President Buhari has no connection with the killing of innocent Nigerians by criminals.
“President Buhari does not kill people; he is not a cultist,” said the President’s media aide who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
In a statement he issued earlier, Shehu accused Ortom of inciting hatred and division.
“In an attempt to boost his sinking political fortunes, Ortom takes the cheapest and lowest route possible by playing on ethnic themes – and in doing so knowingly causes deaths of innocent Nigerians by inciting farmers against herders, and Christians against Muslims.
“Specifically, Ortom stirs up hatred by targeting one single ethnic group in Nigeria – using language reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide.
“This wicked talk is aimed at giving cover to his so-called “policy” on the Ranches Establishment Law – which in reality is purely an act of denial of the law – intended to withhold rights and freedoms from one ethnic group alone, whilst inciting race hatred against them amongst all others.
“These are not the actions of a man who should be trusted with running public services or holding public office.
“For the governor of a major state in Nigeria to be politically driven by ethnic hatred is a stain on our country.”
But the PDP insisted on Thursday that the Buhari Presidency was responsible for spreading division and hatred among Nigerians and not Governor Ortom.
The opposition party said its position was against the backdrop of “an inciting hate statement issued by the Buhari Presidency in a bitter personal attack on Governor Ortom on Wednesday, in which the Presidency made allusions to genocides in Rwanda.”
The statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, recalled how “the Buhari Presidency has been planting seeds of discord in the country with hate language, divisive tendencies and unconcealed nepotism, to the extent that our nation has become widely divided along all fault lines.”
“Nigerians have not forgotten how President Buhari, ahead of the 2011 general elections declared that “if what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood”.
“Moreover, Nigerians can recall how Mr. President tagged those whom he believed did not vote for him; how he described citizens as “dot in a circle,” as well as the hate language that attracted sanctions by Twitter.
“It is rather alarming that instead of taking steps to address the killings in Benue state as well as the worsening insecurity, carnages, banditry, terrorism and imminent humanitarian crisis in the country, the Buhari Presidency is thinking of Rwandan Genocide while exposing its deep-seated detestation for Governor Ortom.
“Governor Ortom is a highly principled and forthright leader, who is loved not only in Benue, but also across the nation. The PDP urges Nigerians to hold the Buhari Presidency responsible should any harm come to him or his family members.
“As a party, the PDP demands that the Buhari Presidency should come clean on its handling of insecurity in the country. This is particularly against the backdrop of its manifest failure to battle and rout out terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and marauders that have taken over our highways, forests, pillaging communities and killing Nigerians on daily basis.
“Under President Buhari’s lethargic regime, bandits and terrorists have become so emboldened that they now attack military formations, including the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) where they killed and kidnapped officers for ransom.
“The PDP therefore calls on President Buhari to rein in his aides, wake up from his slumber and decisively address the worsening insecurity in the country under his watch.”
Categories: James Ibechi