Mr. Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, is busy splitting hairs with some of his colleagues and forgetting statecraft. He is doing his second and final term but he is wasting it on things that do not matter to his state and people.
Two months ago, Ortom took on Bala Mohammed, the governor of Bauchi State, in his so called fight to secure venue from supposed Fulani gunmen. And just last Saturday, Ortom took a swipe at his Kaduna counterpart, Nasir el-Rufai, saying the latter had no moral justification to challenge another governor.
Ortom was reacting to El-Rufai’s accusation that his Benue colleague was using the insecurity challenge in his state to attack the Federal Government to cover up his failure. During a webinar on Friday, he said, “I know him (Ortom) and he is not somebody I take very seriously, frankly. He has other issues of governance (but) he is using the Federal Government as a punching bag to divert attention from his failures. Go and find out how many months’ salaries are being owed teachers and public servants in Benue State, then you can understand a lot of what Ortom is doing.”
However, the Benue governor, responding in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said, “We want to believe that El-Rufai was wrongly quoted. A man who has failed in several aspects as governor of Kaduna has no moral justification to accuse another governor.” According to him, El-Rufai divided the people of Kaduna against one another by allegedly not hiding his hatred for indigenes of the state on account of religion and ethnicity.
“A governor who chose a Muslim deputy in a state where Christians have a huge population is certainly not one to preach unity and peaceful coexistence. El-Rufai’s attack on Governor Ortom is merely to make him look good before the Presidency,“ the statement read. “He has apparently fallen out of favour at the Villa and wants to use Governor Ortom as a launch pad to get back to reckoning. This is a man who has insulted almost every prominent Nigerian, including the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a man who is his former boss and one who brought him to the limelight … Is Governor Ortom responsible for El-Rufai’s inability to ensure peace in Kaduna State where bandits have taken over some communities while kidnappings and killings occur on a daily basis?”
We say enough of this unnecessary hairs splitting. Governors have been put in office to serve their people and not service their egos. They are carrying on as if it is an election year. If they had so much energy and time on their hands, they had better use same to protect their peoples and put meals on their tables. All this blame game is unhelpful. Enough is enough!