Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restore his “battered image” by addressing the nation’s security issues.
Ortom’s remarks followed a statement allegedly made by Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman, on Wednesday.
Shehu had said that Ortom was engaging in “dog whistle politics” when he asserted that the federal government is obstructing attempts to reduce national insecurity.
Ortom’s chief press secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, cited the governor as stating in a statement on Thursday that whenever he complains about how awful the security situation is in the nation, Buhari’s advisers attack him.
“If the presidency assumes that I am wrong about my statements regarding the failure of the present government to tackle insecurity, I urge them to hold a referendum to get the feelings of Nigerians towards their ineptitude, complicity and clear lack of commitment and sincerity in protecting the people,” Ortom said.
“It is sad and unfortunate that the likes of Garba Shehu have zero sympathy for the families of those being killed daily by Fulani terrorists.
“As long as their meal ticket is secured, they tell Mr President to go to bed, that all is well with the country.
“Garba is a man whose loyalty is for sale to the highest bidder. He sings in high praise of the President today because that is his current source of livelihood.
“He will be the first to go against the President once the tables turn. He has done that before with other prominent Nigerians whom he served. A man who betrays his former benefactor for a new pot of porridge does not possess the moral right to question a patriotic leader like Governor Ortom.”