Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has replied the presidency after being asked not to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the challenges experienced in the state.
While Ortom who reacted to allegations of non-payment of Benue workers’ salaries stated that he inherited over N70 billion arrears of pensions, salaries and gratuities from his predecessor and has been trying his best, the presidency claimed there are two types of politicions — those who offer solutions to challenges facing the country and those that offer excuses “and instead blame others for problems they have either not solved or have themselves created”.
The presidency further described Ortom as an example of the second class of politicians who blame others for challenges.
Reacting to the claim, Ortom in a statement released by Nathaniel Ikyur, his chief press secretary, accused the Buhari-led administration of resorting to mudslinging and trying to paint him in a bad light.
The Benue state Governor also averred that it is “uncharitable and truly a betrayal of hope” for the Buhari government “which has consistently blamed past administrations”, to now find it convenient to accuse Ortom of blaming others before him.
Ortom further disclosed that he has been shut out from seeing the President for over a year.
The statement read;
“The Governor decried the rate at which the sovereignty of Nigeria is daily being compromised with the activities of armed Fulani herdsmen that has continued to kill and sack communities across the country. The President Buhari’s state of Katsina is badly hit with the activities of these terrorists. It is the President’s failure to secure Nigeria that has allowed terrorists to take over most states. This is not the making of Governor Ortom,” the statement reads.
“For more than a year, the Governor has been shut out from seeing the President. Is this too a lie?
“Has President Buhari’s government not spent billions of dollars in ‘Turning Around the Maintenance’ of the nation’s refineries without commensurate results from the facilities? Is it Governor Ortom that stopped the President from revamping the country’s refineries after such humongous sums were spent on it? Why did Garba Shehu fail to see all of these but chose to gloss over them?
“It is therefore curious that Garba did not address the issues Governor Ortom raised in the interview with AriseTV. Rather, he went about chasing shadows, trying in vain to paint the governor in bad light. In doing so, he turns to accuse the governor of funding a militia group. This is the height of irresponsibility.
“Rather than take the advice Governor Ortom offers for the collective good of the nation, Garba Shehu and those hired to insult the Governor finds it easy to ignore the weighty issues that bother on national security but rather go about in circles. We think the President and his handlers will do well to take Governor Ortom seriously when he speaks than indulging in unnecessary mudslinging.
“It is uncharitable and truly a betrayal of hope for the President Muhammadu Buhari government who has consistently blamed past administrations to now find it convenient to accuse Governor Ortom of blaming others before him. This is ridiculous and has exposed the Buhari government of being bereft of ideas and indeed empty of tackling the nation’s myriad of problems.”