26 August 2021
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THE Presidency on Wednesday accused Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, of using sectarian language similar to that of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, while reacting to the security challenges in his state.
It also said the people of the state deserved a better governor and should insist on having one in the next election.
This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled, ‘Statement concerning Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State.’
In the statement, the Presidency accused Ortom of being unprincipled having changed political party five times.
It read, “Governor Samuel Ortom has few political principles. We can see this from the fact that he has changed political parties five times during his undistinguished career.
“Every time he feels the wind may be blowing in a certain direction, he follows it.
“Unfortunately for the good citizens of Benue State, the most dangerous direction he blows in today is that of sectarianism and ethnicity.
“In an attempt to boost his sinking political fortunes, Ortom takes the cheapest and lowest route possible by playing on ethnic themes – and in doing so knowingly causes deaths of innocent Nigerians by inciting farmers against herders, and Christians against Muslims.”
The Presidency further accused the governor of spreading hate in a way reminiscent of the Hutu tribe during the Rwandan Genocide.
“Specifically, Ortom stirs up hatred by targeting one single ethnic group in Nigeria–using language reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide.
“As was the case in Rwanda where the then Hutu leaders of the country incited their countrymen against each other, claiming there was a ‘secret Tutsi agenda’ over the Hutu, Ortom claims there is a ‘secret Fulanisation agenda’ over other ethnic groups in his state and Nigeria.
“This is a copy of the language of Hutu Power-which falsely, and intentionally, accused the Rwandan Tutsi of plans to dominate the country.
“This wicked talk is aimed at giving cover to his so-called “policy” on the Ranches Establishment Law – which in reality is purely an act of denial of the law – intended to withhold rights and freedoms from one ethnic group alone, whilst inciting race hatred against them amongst all others.”
The statement added that the “good, and fair-minded people of Benue State deserve more than this, and we look forward to the next election when they have an opportunity to restore its greatness