Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and the All Progressives Congress in Benue State are trading words over a visit to displaced persons in Guma on Saturday.
Ortom, through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, lambasted the governorship candidate of the APC, Emmanuel Jime, and Senator George Akume, for allegedly staging a political campaign at one of the Daudu camps for Internally Displaced Persons.
Ortom, who expressed worry over the party leaders’ choice of an IDPs’ camp for a rally, said that the duo of Akume and Jime lied to the displaced persons that they were visiting the camp to give them relief materials, only for the IDPs to discover that it was a campaign rally?
The statement read, “It is on record that Honourable Emmanuel Jime, in particular, has never made a single statement in condemnation of the series of attacks and killing of Benue people by armed herdsmen. He did not send even one relief material to the thousands in various camps.
“Now that political campaigns are here, the same Jime has not only found his voice but has also chosen to dance on the graves of the dead and mock the displaced persons by mounting a campaign podium to deliver a ‘sermon’ about governance.
“Where was Jime when the same people he has today found useful as voters were being attacked by herdsmen with many killed and others made to sleep in the bush among reptiles and mosquitoes for weeks?
“Is life all about politics and votes? Did Jime care if those who came under sustained attacks lost their PVCs while running from the marauding herdsmen? Does he care how they feed, clothe and find shelter now?”
“Was the invasion of Benue not an issue big enough for Jime to have called for a debate against enemies of the state?” Ortom queried.
The governor asked the APC governorship candidate to tell the people what he would do and produce his blueprint to support his presentation, not what he thought Ortom had not done.
The governor said that he was ready for debate but said that Jime didn’t need to challenge him for a debate.
“There will certainly be a debate before the 2019 elections where Jime will have the opportunity to tell Benue people what he has done for them in his public service career and why he kept quiet over the attacks and killing of hundreds of innocent people only to surface on the eve of elections to demand votes from the traumatised victims.
Ortom, however, advised the people of his political axis (MINDA) not to be deceived by the APC leaders, saying, “you are aware of Senator Akume’s deceit and resolve never to let a MINDA son do two terms in any office.” – Punch