Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, has accused Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, of being among one of the persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari during his six-year governance of the country.
Governor Ortom made the claim in a statement on Saturday in response to a statement credited to Governor El-Rufai, who accused him of attacking the Federal Government to cover for his failure to secure Benue State.
Communities in Benue State have recently come under attack from suspected herdsmen, prompting Governor Ortom to accuse President Buhari of working with Fulani to take over Nigeria.
However, Governor El-Rufai, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), insisted that his Benue State counterpart has abandoned his responsibility of securing the state to President Buhari.
But responding in a statement issued by Terver Akase, his Chief Press Secretary, Governor Ortom has no moral justification to accuse another governor, describing him as a divisive element who is “one of the real enemies of this country”.
The statement read: “We read the statement credited to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai in which he accused Governor Samuel Ortom of using the insecurity in his state to attack the Federal Government in order to cover up what he termed as the Benue State Governor’s failure.
“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.
“A Governor who has divided the good people of Kaduna against one another by not hiding his hatred of indigenes of the state on account of religion and ethnicity is not qualified to judge another Governor on any issue whatsoever. 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 co-existence.
“Nasir el-Rufai is a sycophant, ethnic champion and religious bigot who hates anyone who does not share the same faith with him. He is among the very few persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari. El-Rufai is one of the real enemies of this country who do not hide their divisive tendencies by elevating nepotism and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades.”
Governor Ortom further claimed that Governor El-Rufai attacked him because he (Kaduna Governor) is purportedly no longer in the good books of the Presidency and needed a springboard to launch him back to reckoning.
He also lambasted his Kaduna counterpart for attacking past presidents of the country, adding Benue residents do not take a governor who has failed to secure his state and change his stance on kidnapping and negotiation serious.
The statement read: “El-Rufai’s attack on Governor Ortom is merely to make him look good before the Presidency. He has apparently fallen out of favour at the Villa and wants to use Governor Ortom as a launch pad back to reckoning. How has he handled his own problems in Kaduna? 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 limelight.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the unprintable things El-Rufai said during Goodluck Jonathan’s time as President. He insulted the then President and publicly supported terrorists attacking parts of the country. His statements on the abduction of Chibok girls and several other acts of terrorism are still fresh in our minds. El-Rufai is on record to have said repeatedly that Fulani people must retaliate any wrong done to them no matter how long it takes.
“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 daily basis?
“El-Rufai admitted to paying Fulani herdsmen whom he invited from other West African countries in the name of stopping attacks in Southern Kaduna. Since he made the confessional statement, attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna have escalated. This is why he wants men of good conscience like Governor Ortom to be silent to pave way for the conquest and expansion agenda to succeed.
“Kidnapping has become a common crime in Kaduna State under Nasir el-Rufai. Aside the much-celebrated cases, it has been estimated that at every given time, not less that 300 persons are abducted in Kaduna by kidnappers who are always identified as El-Rufai’s kinsmen. He pays them billions to embolden them. He has turned the state into one of the most unsafe places to live in Nigeria today.
“Talking about taking someone seriously, if other Nigerians take El-Rufai seriously, we in Benue do not do same. A man who has no regard for humanity does not deserve our attention.”