The presidency has warned Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State to stop spreading false stories against President Muhammadu Buhari all in the name of campaigning ahead of the upcoming 2019 general elections.
The presidency made known its reservations about Ortom’s comment in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, on Sunday.
According to the statement, the governor has been touring around the state spilling lies about the president’s unsubstanitiated plans rather than explaining to the citizens why he failed to pay salaries promptly.
The statement noted that Ortom’s campaign for his re-election in the March 2 governorship election is “designed to stir division and hatred” against President Buhari, despite the support the federal government gave him in the implementation of the anti-grazing law.
“It has been noted that the governor has been visiting churches in the state where he falsely tells congregations about President Buhari’s so-called plans to Islamise Benue State.
“Governor Ortom’s campaign is clearly one designed to stir division and hatred, and to divert the people’s attention from his inability to pay staff salaries and pensions for several months.
“This nonsense has formed the basis of his campaign, because he has nothing to offer Benue people,” the statement read.
It added: “The allegations coming from Ortom were particularly unfair, when one considers how much support the governor received from the Federal Government, which supported his grazing laws as a means to end the farmer-herder crises that have plagued the state.
“If not for President Buhari’s insistence that the governor be given a chance to effect the law, he would have faced resistance from different sources and found it difficult to implement.”
The presidency told Ortom to desist from his alleged false statements against President Buhari.
The statement also urged the Benue people not to believe the governor’s rhetoric, rather demand the payment of their outstanding salaries.
“While advising Ortom to immediately stop his dubious attacks on President Buhari, the Federal Government calls on the people of Benue State to not fall for Ortom’s deception and allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such a negative campaign.
“They should instead, ask him why he has refused to pay staff salaries and pensions for months, and what he did with the funding from the excess crude account which should ideally have gone towards addressing such payments,” the statement read.