I don’t hate Idoma people – Ortom

cf samuel ortom
cf samuel ortom

From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Benue Rebirth Movement, BRM, a pressure group championing the agitation for power-shift to the Benue South South Senatorial District popularly known as Zone C has expressed shock over the selection of Speaker of the House of Assembly, Titus Uba as the sole aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the 14 Tiv speaking local government areas of the state.

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The Movement in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, AVM Monday Morgan (rtd), also accused the State Governor, Samuel Ortom of championing what it described as an ethnic agenda in favour of the Tiv speaking areas against the people of Zone C.

This is even as Governor Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, has debunked all claims made by BRM, insisting that he does not hate the Idoma people.

The BRM expressed shock over statements credited to the Governor in an interview where he was quoted to have said that the PDP cannot zone the position of state Governor to Zone C for the 2023 election because if the party picks its Governorship flag bearer from zone C and the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not do the same, the PDP would lose the Governorship election in the state since politics is a game of numbers.

“We view the Governor’s statement as a deliberate attempt to foreclose the possibility and chances of a Zone C person becoming the state Governor next year. We also consider the process of the purported selection of Rt. Hon. Uba as a ruse designed to frighten zone C into abandoning its Gubernatorial aspiration. It is like rubbing pepper in the 46-year-old ethnically motivated political wound inflicted on the people of zone C.

“We consider it inappropriate for Governor Ortom who is the leader of PDP in Benue state and father to all to publicly take a definite position against Zone C and openly align himself with the aspiration of Zone A.

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“We reject completely the deployment of virtually the entire state PDP machinery by the Governor to the pursuit of a Tiv ethnic agenda. We reject the situation whereby well-established party structures would be replaced overnight with an illegal body known as the “caucus for the Tiv speaking area” for the purpose of picking the party’s candidate for election.

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“The Governor’s roles in (6) and (7) above are prejudicial and against the principles of equity, fairness and justice. This is inimical to the credibility and integrity of any process for the selection of the consensus Governorship candidate at the state level in which the Governor is supposed to play a neutral, fatherly role,” the statement read in part.

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Reacting, Governor Ortom, in a statement described the BRM’s allegation against him as spurious and far from the truth, particularly as it relates to the 2023 governorship election in Benue state.

The statement which was signed by Ikyur added that, “Since 2015 when Governor Samuel Ortom came to office, he has continued to promote the unity of the state with accentuated vigour.

“This is also displayed in the now famous ‘Unity Cap’ which he preaches to build unity among all ethnic nationalities in the state and Nigeria in general.

Ikyur reminded the BRM that the governor swore to the oath of office and oath of allegiance which makes every citizen of the state his primary responsibility, stressing that he (Ortom) has displayed this in both his appointments and siting of amenities by ensuring that no zone in the state lags behind.

“The idea behind this is to show that Benue is for all and not just for the Tiv alone as the AVM Monday Morgan’s Benue Rebirth Movement, BRM wants the public to believe.

“It is on record that Governor Ortom had counselled the leadership of the Benue Rebirth Movement to reach out to their Tiv brothers to canvass support across all political parties, and not just in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP for the purpose of an Idoma son or daughter to be elected as Governor of the State. That way, Governor Ortom believes there will be a singleness of purpose and approach for our Idoma brothers to have a level field of contest.

The statement therefore, advised the Benue Rebirth Movement to do more homework by building trust and confidence with their Tiv brothers in their quest and not to turn and make Governor Ortom an issue in their contest for the governorship of the state.

“Governor Ortom is not against an Idoma man becoming the governor of the State. It is a process that involves everyone, the statement concluded.

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