The Presidency on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over his incessant attacks and criticisms of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
This was contained in an essay published by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, titled, “The Incongruence of Governor Ortom on AriseTV.”
The governor had repeatedly appeared in the media, accusing the Federal Government of neglecting his state especially during the height of the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
Nonetheless, Shehu dispelled these accusations noting that the FG had repeatedly come to the rescue of Benue State especially in the bailout in order to meet salary payments to its public workers.
“Governor Samuel Ortom, office holder, is that other politician. He inherited unpaid salaries and pension arrears – and rather than find a way to raise the funds to pay them, he has blamed the President.
“This is a President who has not failed to pay the salary of those working for the federal government and declared the failure of states to do so “a national disaster.”
“To avert this, he had, at various times lent money to the states in excess of N1.682 trillion, and Benue, Mr Ortom’s state did not miss out on all occasions: Salary Bailout, Excess Crude Loan and Budget Support loan, each repayable in 20 years. Lagos for instance didn’t collect any of the loans.
“A few other states declined to take one or two. Mr Ortom, an officeholder who collected on all occasions, currently holds the country’s longest record of unpaid salaries and pensions, has no reason, absolutely no reason, to blame President Buhari for the mess in which he put his state and its workers,” the statement read.
The Presidency further went on the offensive disclosing how Governor Ortom continually disregards Benue citizens by calling them unprintable names while harassing them with his private militia.
“Having first come claiming that his predecessors created the arrears, it was his business to prove that he was better by paying. Instead of doing that, he joined them! And while he runs up even further salary and pension debts on top of those he was bequeathed, instead of respecting the voters who elected him to office, he publicly attacks them in unprintable words and has raised his own thuggish militia to harass and violate them.
“The Governor now claims the voters wish to be “rescued by the PDP” and “regret voting for Buhari.” The voters, of course, will not be asked to vote for the President again because – as a leader – President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC respect term limits and the constitution, and will stand down next year at the end of his second democratically elected mandate.
“It seems unlikely, however, that any voter would seriously consider it possible to be “rescued” by a party that would today, allow a politician such as Governor Ortom in its ranks,” Shehu added.
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