Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has again displayed his penchant for stoking the fire of religious and ethnic tension with his recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Foundation for Equity and Justice (FEJ) condemned the governor’s stance in a statement on Friday.
Ortom had accused the president of not doing enough to halt the herders-farmers conflict in Benue and insecurity in the country.
But the Foundation for Equity and Justice noted that Ortom aims to cause panic in the state and then point fingers at the Federal Government.
In the statement signed by its Secretary-General, Raymond Oralu, the group said the governor, being a “herdsman” wants to monopolize cattle business in his state and would go to any length to secure that.
According to the foundation, Ortom’s claims that Buhari is a Fulani president is an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians.
The group, however, advised the Benue governor to desist from making unguarded and unsubstantiated statements in the press and concentrate on the task of governance.
The statement further called on the Ortom to explain how he amassed assets worth over N200b in five years when it is a known fact that under him civil servants are being owed several months’ salaries and arrears.
While calling on relevant authorities to investigate Ortom, the foundation said the governor should be held responsible for the escalation of farmers-herders conflict in Benue and environs.
Read the full statement below:
The Foundation for Equity and Justice is issuing this press statement given the statement credited to the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom on the farmers-herders conflict in Benue state and other parts of the country.
Governor Samuel Ortom with his recent statement confirmed to Nigerians that he indeed harbours sinister motive against the Muhammadu Buhari administration concerning the farmers-herders conflict in Benue State and its environs.
What the generality of Nigerians does not know is that Governor Samuel Ortom is a herdsman who is actively involved in the cattle business since he became governor of the state. It is also common knowledge that he has been ferocious in taking control of the cattle business in Benue State and its environs hence his frequent castigation of the policies of the federal government towards the restoration of peace amongst farmers and herders in the state.
The Foundation for Equity and Peace as a body is aware of the plot by Governor Samuel Ortom to stoke tension in Benue state and thereafter point accusing fingers at the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The recent statement where he posited that President Muhammadu Buhari is president only for the Fulanis is an insult to our collective sensibilities as a people for it is not only derogatory, it is an affront to our commonsense as a people.
The performance of Governor Samuel Ortom in Benue State is indeed woeful and as such he has elected to be clever by half by stoking ethnic tension in the state and craftily shifting attention from his inadequacies.
We wish to advise Governor Samuel Ortom to desist from making unguarded and unsubstantiated statements in the press and concentrate on the task of governance in Benue state towards availing the good people of the state the dividends of democracy.
Governor Samuel Ortom must also do well to explain how in five years he has amassed assets worth over 200 billion Naira when it is a known fact that under him civil servants are being owed several months’ salaries and arrears.
Governor Samuel Ortom is indeed the definition of corruption and multiple pieces of evidence indicate how he has continued to divert the resources of Benue State to private pockets while the people suffer untold hardship.
The Foundation for Equity and Justice is using this medium to call on the relevant security agencies to beam their light on Benue State towards unravelling how Governor Samuel Ortom has been fuelling insecurity in Benue State and environs.
The security agencies must also unravel how he has been arming ethnic militia groups that have been perpetrating violence under the cover of the state government on innocent people across the state and neighbouring states.
We know that Governor Samuel Ortom would stop at nothing to ensure that he monopolizes the cattle business in the state hence his penchant for conflict that has continued to put the lives of innocent people at risk daily.
We find such disposition from a governor of a state who should know better that part of his responsibilities is to protect the people and not subject them to a reign of terror which has remained the hallmark of his administration.
Governor Samuel Ortom must as a matter of necessity stop playing the gallery on the farmers-herders crisis when it is evident that he is the main instigator of the conflict in fulfilment of his selfish desires which remains a crime against humanity.
We hereby call on all Nigerians to hold Governor Samuel Ortom responsible for the escalation of the farmers-herders conflict in Benue state and environs as we have it on credible authority that he plans to extend his nefarious activities to other states in the country.
Nigerians must also be aware that the notoriety of Governor Samuel Ortom is legendary since his days in politics as he has been actively involved in promoting deprivation, sorrow, tears, and blood.
The Foundation for Equity and Justice is calling on Governor Samuel Ortom to retrace his steps and seek forgiveness from the people of Benue state whose lives he has turned beggarly since he assumed leadership of the state.
He must also realize that time is indeed running out for him as his gimmicks are now in the public domain and as such no amount of propaganda can erase the hard truths with regards to his penchant for stoking religious and ethnic tension.
This is a statement of the fact and we stand by our position.
My Ex-Wife Lied Against Me, She Is An Adulterer —Fani-Kayode
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has said his ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu, lied against him, adding that he didn’t beat her at any point in time during their relationship.
Fani-Kayode also alleged that Chikwendu was an adulterer who tried to seduce his friends while he was in detention.
The former beauty pageant had accused her ex-husband of beating her up at several times including when she was pregnant.
The ex-wife further accused Fani-Kayode of confining her to a hospital when she attempted to escape.
Chikwendu subsequently demanded for full custody of their four sons.
The former beauty queen made the allegations in an affidavit she deposed to in support of an originating motion brought pursuant to Section 69 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.
But in a statement by his Media Consultant, Oladimeji Olaiya, the ex-minister described all the allegations as “lies and falsehood”.
The statement was titled, ‘Press statement on the vile and baseless allegations of Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’.
It partly read, “The statement of claim and affidavit that was filed in court by one Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is filled with lies and falsehood.
“Not one thing that she has alleged there is true. She is a pathological liar and a slanderer and we intend to prove this in court.
“We believe that the children’s lives would be in danger if they are with her and we shall prove this in court.
“Neither is it true that she was ever beaten by Chief Fani-Kayode or anyone else in his staff and security team, either when she was pregnant or not pregnant and it is not true that she was subjected to any form of physical or mental abuse from them.”
The statement also noted that Chikwendu walked out of the marriage despite pleas and entreaties.
“She walked out on her own saying she was hearing voices even when the entire household was begging her to stay and she abandoned her husband and four young children to meet other men outside.
“After she finished having her fun Chief Fani-Kayode refused to let her back into his and resolved to keep her out of his life. This is the best decision he has made in the last 7 years.”
Fani-Kayode also accused his ex-wife of adultery, saying, “Chikwendu’s only pastime was to post pictures and words on Instagram and sleep with men outside.
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“She also tried to seduce a number of Chief Fani-Kayode’s friends when he was in detention and extort money from them.”
Though Chikwendu demanded the full custody of her four sons, Fani-Kayode said the children’s lives would be endangered if left in her care.
“On one occasion she beat her first son so badly that his face swelled up like a football and he had to be rushed to the hospital where she admitted to her offence to the doctor. We have pictures of his damaged and badly swollen face.
“His crime was that he had called one of his 3 nannies “mummy” and this angered Chikwendu who then flew into an uncontrollable rage and punched him in the face in front of 7 nannies.
“On a separate occassion in front of three Pastors she also beat one of the triplets mercilessly simply because he had dared to cry during prayers. Again we have evidence of this and the Pastors and nannies will testify,” the statement added.
“We urge members of the public to wait until the truth is revealed about Chikwendu, her mental and physical abuse of her own children, her mental illness, her numerous attempts to murder Chief Fani-Kayode and his four children, her adulterous ways, her unfathomable cruelty, her gold-digging ways, her violence and so much more before they make up their minds,” it concluded.
When Leaving Office, I Decided Not To ‘Remote-Control’ My Successor – Dickson
The immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has explained why he distanced himself from the administration of Governor Douye Diri.
His explanation came amidst speculations that all was not well between him and Diri.
In a statement he personally signed on Thursday, Dickson, who represents Bayelsa West in the Senate, stated that it was his decision before exiting office to give whoever succeeded him the freedom to govern.
He said, “No one has a greater stake in the governor’s success than me. I am aware of the concerns raised about the distance I have kept since leaving office. This is deliberate and in consonance with my values and principles.
“While I was governor I took a conscious decision that whoever was going to succeed me was going to have the free hand to run his government with my full support. I am not one of those who believe that a governor should be remote-controlled.
“A governor should be free to take actions and decisions to pursue programmes, projects and policies he believes in. A governor must be in charge and I have always encouraged Governor Diri to take charge and to also take responsibility at all time.
“In the process, where he deems it, he can consult stakeholders for their inputs and advice and that the governor does with me and others.
This is why we did not enter into any agreement nor give the governor any condition for my and our full and total support other than to do his best for the state and the Ijaw nation and in doing so, he has our continuous support.”
Akeredolu Orders Recitation Of Oodua Anthem In Schools
The Ondo State Government has made it compulsory for all pupils and students in the state to recite the Oodua Anthem in their schools .
The order reportedly affects all the private and public institutions from primary to tertiary level in the state.
This was contained in a circular sent to all stakeholders from the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The circular was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Akin Asaniyan.
The circular, titled ‘Recitation of Oodua Anthem in all schools’, was made available to our correspondent on Thursday in Akure.
It read in part,“Please note that, at the just concluded inter-schools debate and award ceremony organised by Ondo State Ministry of Education Science and Technology, held on Thursday February 25, 2021, at the International Culture and Event Center (The Dome) , Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, announced that the state has adopted the Oodua Anthem and it is to be recited by the residents of the state.
“In the light of this development, Mr Governor has directed that the anthem is now compulsory in all public and private schools ( primary and secondary), as well as tertiary institutions in the state, to be recited by all students and teachers henceforth.”
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