The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has reacted to the allegation made against him by his estranged godfather, Senator George Akume who claimed he (Ortom) is using his office to enrich himself.
During the presidential campaign rally of President Muhammadu Buhari at Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. Senator Akume said:
“Today, there is one governor in the North-Central Nigeria, (a veiled reference to Ortom) who is richer than Buhari and has more money than Buhari in just three-and-a-half years of being a governor.”
“The most notorious problem facing Benue today is the use of livestock guards. These people have been killing Benue people because they were armed with Ak47.
“Just on Friday, we were on governorship campaign to the Guma LGA and these guards ambushed our campaign train, shot and killed one person.”
In reaction, while addressing journalists in Makurdi, Governor Ortom said he was already a billionaire before he became the governor. He accused Akume of allegedly stealing N2 billion when he was exiting Government House in 2007. He said:
“The truth of the matter is that Akume cannot hold me responsible for not being able to provide jobs; I was a billionaire before I became governor.”
“Before I became a minister, I had to resign my position as the chairman of my company and the company is doing fine. I borrowed money from Nexim Bank, Bank of Industry and CBN.
“I discovered a window, through the present minister of agriculture that there was fund available for agricultural development programme. This I introduced to Akume that with all his asset around, he could obtain N5bn loan and invest in business. But he told me he did not have capacity to run business, so can he blame me for that?
“Akume was a governor for eight years and he stole N2bn before he left office; up till now, the case is with the EFCC but because he is in the APC, nothing is happening of the case.
“ That’s the reason why I said the EFCC was a tool of the APC, if not, Akume is supposed to be in jail now.”