Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, denied allegation levelled against him by the Presidency that he was making hate speech and inciting Benue people against President Muhammadu Buhari during campaign rally in the state.
Governor Ortom who made the denial while speaking with newsmen shortly after meeting with Church leaders at Tse- Agbaragba, Konshisha LGA of the state, explained that the “so called statement against him from the presidency has confirmed that cabals are actually running President Muhammad Buhari’s government as earlier complained by the President’s wife.”
The Presidency through the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, last weekend in a statement accused Governor Samuel Ortom of hate speech and inciting Benue people against President Buhari during his governorship reelection campaign.
Shehu further alleged that Governor Ortom also told Benue people that Buhari was planning to Islamize Benue State which was why there were persistent Fulani herdsmen attacks on Benue communities to pave the way for the actualisation of Buhari’s plan.
But the governor denied vehemently that at no point did he make such comments.
“In my campaigns, I have never insulted President Buhari, I have never made any hate speech against him at any given time. If I talk of Miyetti Allah claiming responsibility for the killings in Benue State, it came from them and it was before the media and everybody was aware of it.
“I read the statement, it was an unfortunate statement. I’m sure it’s not coming from Mr President, I’m sure that the statement from Garba Shehu is coming from the cabal that the wife of the President is complaining about. It cannot be from the President.
“If I talk about Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) who did a press conference in Kano and proclaimed that the killings in Benue was a continuation of 1804 jihad, it didn’t come from me, it came from them,” he stated.
“I called for the arrest of these people because they were making hate speeches and displaying impunity over this country and I reported them to security agencies, I expected that these people should have been arrested. And I was just repeating that,” he added.
He, however, warned the media assistant to the President to desist from interfering with his governance and should not cause disaffection between him and President Buhari, adding that Shehu cannot tell him where to go and do his campaigns.
“If I go to the church, I will also go to the Mosque and respect the Muslims for who they are and I respect the churches that is the background where I come from, I am a Christian.
“Can Garba Shehu come and tell me where to campaign? He doesn’t have the right, he is from APC and I am of the PDP and I’m campaigning to win election for my party and my presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar because I believe he will not keep a cabal in the Villa.
“All of us are stakeholders and we cannot fold our hands and see things being destroyed by individuals, I have no time for that. Garba Shehu should go and concentrate on his job and he should stop trying to create hatred between me and the President, because I have no issues with the President.
“I talk about issues of the campaign. And if you talk about hate speech they should go and arrest FUAM and Miyetti Allah members who made that statement and going around doing all sorts of illegal things, creating hate and confusion among Nigerians and nobody is out to say anything rather you hear agents of government come out to give backing to them,” he said.
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