Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Presidency has advised the people of Benue State not to fall for Ortom’s deception and allow themselves to be hoodwinked by the negative campaign embarked upon by Governor Samuel Orton to discredit President Muhammadu Buhari as a way of convincing the people to vote him for a second term despite his failure to pay workers’ salaries and pensions.
The presidency also called on governor Ortom to desist from basing his campaign for re-election on falsehoods concerning President Buhari and instead focus on the dire issues confronting the State.
Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu stated this on Sunday, saying, “Governor Ortom’s campaign is clearly one designed to stir division and hatred, and to divert the people’s attention from his inability to pay staff salaries and pensions for several months.”
According to Shehu, it has been noted that the governor has been visiting churches in the state where he falsely tells congregations about President Buhari’s so-called plans to Islamise Benue State.
“This nonsense has formed the basis of his campaign, because he has nothing to offer Benue people”, the presidential spokesman noted.
He said, “The allegations coming from Ortom were particularly unfair, when one considers how much support the governor received from the Federal Government, which supported his grazing laws as a means to end the farmer-herder crises that have plagued the state.
“If not for President Buhari’s insistence that the governor be given a chance to effect the law, he would have faced resistance from different sources and found it difficult to implement.
“While advising Ortom to immediately stop his dubious attacks on President Buhari, the Federal Government calls on the people of Benue State to not fall for Ortom’s deception and allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such a negative campaign.”
The Presidency stressed that the people of Benue should instead, ask the governor why he has refused to pay staff salaries and pensions for months, and what he did with the funding from the excess crude account- Paris Club Refund, Salary Bail Out and the Budget Support Fund which should ideally have gone towards addressing such payments.