The Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, has stated that his boss, Governor Samuel Ortom, has no personal grudge against President Muhammadu Buhari, but was only being patriotic.
Akase made the assertion while reacting to the statement from the Presidency issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who said the President expressed “his disappointment and sadness over Ortom’s litany of accusations against his person and his government, following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.”
In a statement, yesterday, in Makurdi, Akase described as reckless, the comment by the President’s spokesman, noting, “Buhari wouldn’t have given approval for such a reckless and insensitive press release.”
According to him, what Garba Shehu ought to have known was that the Governor has no personal grudge against the President.
Akase said Ortom, was only being patriotic by calling for justice, equity, fairness and above all the rule of law, adding that he expected the President to be the leader of every Nigerian and treat all as his people.
His words: “If Garba Shehu claims that the President is disappointed in the governor for speaking against the sustained attacks on his people, we wonder how he feels about the killings in North East, North West, South East, South West and other parts of the North Central. Are those killings occurring as a result of the comments of governors of the affected states?
“It is shocking that Shehu would make a statement regarding an attack evidently carried out by Fulani herdsmen and there won’t be a single sentence of reproach directed at the violent Fulani herders.
“Such a deliberate omission smacks of complicity and tacit support for the killer herders.
“The posture of the Federal Government has made many Nigerians to conclude that it is complicit and its inaction has emboldened the armed herdsmen to cause greater havoc across the country.
“When the president gave a shoot on sight order to security agencies against persons bearing AK47, Ortom was one of the first to support the presidential directive.
“Minister of Defence came out a few weeks later to counter the President’s order and we expected a reaction from the Presidency, but till this minute, no such reaction has been heard.
“What the governor therefore deserves is commendation and not condemnation,” Akase stated.