The Oasis Reporters
October 27, 2022
It has become clear that the spoken moves by PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s to “unify” Nigerians may have run into problems within the old geographical north already, for Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has fired the first salvo by accusing Atiku Abubakar of committing a sacrilege against the people of Benue State.
The governor who also told Atiku not to think that Fulani alone could make him the President, asked him to apologise over his outburst against him and the people of the state.
The former vice president drew the ire of the governor during the interactive forum organised by the Arewa Consultative Forum in Kaduna recently when he (Atiku) accused Ortom of profiling Fulani and that the governor told him that his people used to rustle cows.
The statement may have seemed unfair because common knowledge may put the issue of cattle rustlings amongst some renegade Fulani itself, as it is with most crimes committed by humans since recorded history.
Ortom had described as false the claim that he profiled Fulani herdsmen and made the claim that his people stole cows from his farm.
He said, “I condemn the statement against me by Atiku. When it got to me, I chatted with him through a WhatsApp message; he apologised but declined to make a public apology.
“But I am against the Fulani terrorists coming from Niger, Chad, Senegal, and Mali. He must do a retraction. If he does not, on the day of the election, we will vote according to the election.
“We cannot vote for a president who will continue the carnage against our people. He wants to use me as a scapegoat. Atiku is unfair to the people. Do you think Fulani will make you president? You lie. You have committed sacrilege against the Benue people,” Ortom said.
Keen watchers of Benue State politics and the terse relationships between the mainly agrarian people of the state and the itinerant herdsmen who must find green grass to graze their cows on can never be simple and friendly in any case.
This is coupled with the fact that southern governors from all major parties had decided on a power shift to the south in their meeting held at Asaba, Delta state.
Middle belt governors were not invited, yet it was obvious that they were supportive of the move by Southern governors, because within the north, their aspirations never get to the presidency as majority of them are Christians, and regarded as outside northerners who should principally vote for others and not be voted for in the north.