The Presidency has blasted Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, for his comments over the controversial Ruga settlement initiative, saying his interference is highly unneeded.
The Presidency’s position was expressed by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, during a news programme on Monday.
Governor Ortom had in a statement on Monday said no land has been approved by the Benue State government for the Ruga initiative and challenged the Federal Government to produce evidence that lands have been gazetted for such purpose.
But responding, the Presidency, via Shehu, said the governor’s statement was irrelevant as his state was invited to participate in the Ruga initiative.
Shehu said: “One thing I will tell you is that the most outspoken critic of this policy, who is the governor of Benue State, is not invited and is not a part of it (Ruga). He has no business meddling in this affair and if he has work to do, let him stay on his job and do it.”
The presidential aide added that Governor Ortom was using his stiff opposition to the Federal Government’s initiative to deceive and conceal the failure of his administration to deliver the dividends of democracy to the Benue people.
“One thing I can tell you is that Benue is absolutely absent from this. They have not applied and they have not been invited. But the thing is that the nature of politics in that place; people have used this ethnicity to get to power. They need it in order to stay in power because they have no answers to the problem of their people”, Shehu said.