- An aide to the governor of Benue state has said that his principal does not have an atom of hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari
- Nathaniel Ikyur said that Governor Ortom urges everyone to ensure they pray for President Buhari as the leader of the country
- According to Ikyur, the governor has been vocal against the leadership style of the president because he can not stand the atrocities committed by herdsmen in Benue state
Despite the continuous war of words between the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, and the presidency, the former's aide has refuted claims that he (Ortom) dislikes the president.
Speaking at a meeting with journalists in Abuja on Friday, February 18, Nathaniel Ikyur, the chief press secretary to the Benue state governor said contrary to reports in several quarters, his principal does not in any way hate President Buhari.
Arewa youth forum sends powerful message to IGP, Governor Ikpeazu over killing of 8 northerners in Abia
Ikyur said Ortom's statements on the state of the nation should not be misconstrued as demeaning or hatred for the president and his office.
Why Governor Ortom has remained vocal against President Buhari's leadership style
Ortom has been vocal against the leadership style of President Buhari, especially his silence over the killings by suspected militias in Benue state and other parts of the country.
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However, his chief press secretary said the governor would continue to stand for the people of Benue state not minding whose ox is gored.
"I want to reiterate the fact that my principal, Governor Samuel Ortom doesn't hate President Buhari. His comments on the state of the nation and the leadership style of the president do not mean he hates him.
"In fact, he encourages us to pray for Mr. President just like the bible encourages us to pray for all our leaders. When the Bible said that we should first of all pray for those in authority and that is what the governor has been encouraging us to do."
Noting that Governor Ortom is only interested in whatever protects the interest of the residents of Benue, Ikyur said his principal will continue to be on the side of the people.
"What the governor has been doing is to raise a red flag because of what is happening in the country, the insecurity and all of that.
"Benue state has been ravaged by the invasion of herdsmen, a lot of the local government areas have been occupied by the herdsmen; from the stretch of Logo, Guma... Agatu and other parts of Benue state by the Fulani herdsmen."
He noted that no sane person will keep mum while his people are being killed on a daily basis.
Governor Ortom's plan for 2023 general elections
Asked if the governor has plans of taking his political career to a next level - to represent the people of Benue South senatorial district at the National Assembly - at the end of his third tenure, Ikyur said Ortom is still consulting.
"Governor Ortom is aware of the clamour in many quarters on him to contest for Senate in 2023, but in his usual character, he is still consulting with God and will make his intention known in due course."
I have written my will, several attempts have been made to assassinate me, Nigerian governor cries out
Governor Samuel Ortom has made some very bold statements regarding the spate of insecurity in Benue and Nigeria at large.
The Benue state governor said he cannot be intimidated by anyone even though several attempts have been made to eliminate him.
In preparation for the worse, Governor Ortom said he has prepared his will and expressed confidence that his family would be fine.
Benue youths react as Ortom signs amended anti-open grazing bill
Youths in Benue state are excited about the passing of the amended anti-open grazing bill into law by Governor Samuel Ortom.
The youths said that the governor has continued to show that the plight of the people is his major concern.
According to the youths, President Muhammadu Buhari's administration should work with stakeholders like Ortom to address security challenges in Nigeria.