By Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi
For the past six years, the governor of Benue state, Chief Samuel Ortom, has been on the neck of President Muhammadu Buhari to agree that it’s the fulani herdsmen that have been killings people in the state.
In 2017, the president being the patron of the herdsmen association was very angry with the governor. He queried Governor Samuel Ortom why he was attributing the killings to the Fulani herdsmen.
As a matter of fact, the president’s men blocked the governor from having access to him. They were even blocking the governor from talking to the president at public functions.
While that was going on, the president was aware that the killers of Benue people were the Fulani herdsmen but he needed to protect his own people and Governor Ortom began a serious fight against the insurgents.
The governor’s action against the herders didn’t go down well with the president who joined force with his minister for special duties and intergovernmental affairs who was a prominent Benue son, Senator George Akume, to stop the governor.
Part of their efforts was blocking all the bank accounts belonging to the state government. They also blocked all the loans the governor requested for to pay salaries arrears and pensions.
Another step they took was to force Governor Samuel Ortom not to sign the Anti open grazing law in 2018 but a determined Ortom signed it despite pressures on him.
He signed it and doubled his fight against the killers of the people he was elected to govern. This actually led to his red card which was handed over to him by Senator George Akume.
Akume had a a press briefing in 2018 said that the APC was not going to give a second term ticket to the governor unless he backed out of the fight against the killers of Benue people.
Ortom didn’t back out. He specifically said that he was ready to sacrifice his life as well as his second term for Benue to be free from Fulani herdsmen that had been killing them for some time.
While Ortom kept saying that the killers of Benue people were Fulani herdsmen, President Muhammadu Buhari would say through Akume that it was Benue people that were killing themselves.
Just last week, the governor was vindicated as President Muhammadu Buhari finally said that the killers are Fulani hersmen.
Buhari said this through an official statement by his media aide, Shehu Garba, who was reacting to the recent killings in Benue. Shehu said in the statement more than three times that the killers were Fulani herdsmen.
Finally, Governor Samuel Ortom has been vindicated
Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi, De Oracular Oracle that eats jollof rice in the shrine writes