Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday accused Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai of being one of the real enemies of Nigeria and one of those few people misleading President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ortom said in a statement that el-Rufai was a sycophant, ethnic champion and religious bigot who hates anyone that does not share the same faith with him.
In the statement issued by his chief press secretary, Terver Akase in Makurdi, the Benue governor was reacting to a statement credited to el-Rufai that Ortom was attacking the federal government over insecurity in his state to cover his failures.
He spoke in response to a video showing Ortom addressing protesters after recent killings in Benue.
“I did not hear what Governor Ortom said (in the video) but I know him and he is not somebody I take very seriously, frankly. He has other issues of governance that he is using the federal government as a punching bag to distract attention from his failures,” El-Rufai had reportedly said.
Reacting in yesterday’s statement, Ortom’s press secretary said; “We read the statement credited to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai in which he accused Governor Samuel Ortom of using the insecurity in his state to attack the federal government in order to cover up what he termed as the Benue State governor’s failure.
“We want to believe that El-Rufai was wrongly quoted. A man who has failed in several aspects as governor of Kaduna has no moral justification to accuse another governor.
“A governor who chose a Muslim deputy in a state where Christians have a huge population is certainly not one to preach unity and peaceful co-existence.
“el-Rufai’s attack on Governor Ortom is merely to make him look good before the Presidency. He has apparently fallen out of favour at the Villa and wants to use Governor Ortom as a launch pad back to reckoning. “How has he handled his own problems in Kaduna? This is a man who has insulted almost every prominent Nigerian including the late president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, a man who was his boss and one who brought him to the limelight.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the unprintable things el-Rufai said during Goodluck Jonathan’s time as president. He insulted the then president.”
“His statements on the abduction of Chibok girls and several other acts of terrorism are still fresh in our minds. El-Rufai is on record to have said repeatedly that Fulani people must retaliate for any wrong done to them no matter how long it takes.
“Is Governor Ortom responsible for El-Rufai’s inability to ensure peace in Kaduna State where bandits have taken over some communities while kidnappings and killings occur on daily basis?
“This is why he wants men of good conscience like Governor Ortom to be silent to pave way for the conquest and expansion agenda to succeed.
“Kidnapping has become a common crime in Kaduna State under Nasir El-Rufai. Aside from the much-celebrated cases, it has been estimated that at every given time, not less than 300 persons are abducted in Kaduna by kidnappers who are always identified as El-Rufai’s kinsmen.
“Talking about taking someone seriously, if other Nigerians take El-Rufai seriously, we in Benue do not do same. A man who has no regard for humanity does not deserve our attention.
“Nasir El-Rufai is among the very few persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari. El-Rufai is one of the real enemies of this country who do not hide their divisive tendencies by elevating nepotism and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades. “Nasir el-Rufai doesn’t possess the credentials to counsel anyone on payment of salaries and the welfare of workers. This is a Governor who recently sacked 4,000 workers for no just cause. He ought to be ashamed of himself. “We advise the Kaduna State governor to focus on addressing the numerous problems in his state and leave Governor Ortom to lead Benue in peace,” the statement added.