Ortom Confronts Atiku
The governor spoke on Sunday when the former vice president who was on a campaign tour visited Benue State ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.
Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathiel Ikyur, told Atiku that Benue people were not happy with him for abandoning them when Fulani terrorist groups were killing them.
The governor was emphatic as 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’, Benue people expected more from Atiku during their trying times.
Otom said, “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 terrorist Fulani groups were attacking and killing the people in Benue.”
The governor explained that his reference to armed Fulani herdsmen was not referring to indigenous Fulani whom he said had lived with the indigenes for long without confrontations.
He said the armed Fulani groups from foreign countries included Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM).
Ortom said such groups were still terrorising the state and many other parts of the country without the Federal Government punishing them for their nefarious activities.
Atiku Condemns Ethnic Profiling
Responding to Ortom’s comments, Atiku said he was unable to visit the state in its trying times because he was out of the country for further studies.
The former Vice-President dismissed insinuations that he was silent during the crisis, noting that had issued a number of statements while studying overseas in condemning the Fulani invasion.
Atiku, who advised against ethnic profiling of people involved in violence, donated N50 million to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.
He said he had issues with the way the entire Fulani race was profiled as violent people, but admitted that he had reconciled with Ortom following the clarifications the governor had given.
The former vice president commended the leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for their support to Governor Ortom.
KanyiDaily recalls that Samuel Ortom had also urged Nigerians to vote against Bola Tinubu for opting to continue with Buhari’s policies and programmes which he said were bad.