Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has told former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that people of the state are not happy with him for abandoning them during their trying times.
Governor Ortom spoke Sunday, February 6th, 2022 at the Benue Peoples House when he received the former Vice President and his campaign team on a visit.
Governor Ortom was emphatic that as the holder of one of the highest chieftaincy titles in the Tiv Area Traditional Council, the ‘Zege Mule U Tiv,’ meaning the big shelter of the Tiv nation, the people were not happy that the presidential aspirant didn’t visit the state or send relief materials when it came under siege by the Fulani militia herdsmen.
In his words, “Your visit to Benue as the ‘Zege Mule U Tiv’ is long overdue. But it’s better late than never. You are in your home and we are happy to receive you. But let me say here that our people were not happy that you didn’t visit when terrorists Fulani groups were attacking and killing the people in Benue,” Governor Ortom stated.
The Governor however cleared the misconceptions that he referred to indigenous Fulani who he said had lived with us.
He lamented that terrorists Fulani groups from foreign countries including Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM were still terrorising the state and county without the Federal Government coming hard on them.
Speaking on the state of the nation, the Governor decried that the “barefooted incapability of the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration at the centre” has led Nigeria to where it is.
He expressed confidence that for him, the success of the PDP at ths 2023 elections remains critical above his personal interest, stressing that what the party needs now is to remain united in order to reclaim and salvage the country.
In his response, Alhaji Atiku said he was unable to visit the state in its trying times because he was out of the country for further studies.
He then donated the sum of N50 million for the upkeep of the Internally Displaced Persons in the state.
He said he had issues with the way the entire Fulani race was profiled in the course of the crisis as violent people but admitted that he had reconciled with Governor Ortom for the clarifications he had given.
While answering questions from reporters, Atiku dismissed insinuations that he was silent during the crisis because according to him, he had issued a number of press statements while overseas condemning the invasion.
The former Vice President commended the party leaders in the state for their support to Governor Ortom.