You looted it for 8 years, Ortom fires back
By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—The brewing cold war between Governor Samuel Ortom and his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, took another turn, yesterday, after the latter accused Ortom of running a corrupt and deceitful government, saying he was prepared to go to jail for his stance against the government.
Suswam, who addressed an expanded executive committee of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Makurdi, also accused the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government in the state of militarising democratic governance by arbitrarily arresting members of PDP for no justifiable reasons.
According to Suswam, “the government has resorted to appointing sole administrators for the 23 local government areas of the state, a development that is not known in a democratic setting.
“It is for these reasons that I will continue to raise alarm and not chicken out because this government said it will throw me in jail. They should know that I am not afraid.
“Benue is in a big mess, with looting everywhere. Let us stand together so that at the right time, in 2019, we will join forces and chase this unpopular government out of Benue.”
You’re a certificate forger—ORTOM
However, in a swift reaction, Governor Ortom accused Suswam of allegedly forging his certificates, hence his inability to appreciate the workings of the legislative arm of government.
Ortom said: “It becomes impossible to conduct local government elections because of paucity of funds. That is what led us to the appointment of sole administrators.
“Moreover, the provisions of the constitution allow the House of Assembly to make laws and amend same where necessary; that is what we did.
“People used to say that Suswam had fake and forged certificates, but I did not believe it until now. How can he accuse my government of fraud when he led an administration that looted our state for eight years?
“All we are doing is in line with the provisions of the law; all those arrested, as Suswam claimed, were people who contravened the law, most of who were arrested with arms and are making useful statements.
“There is no arbitrariness in what my government is doing as claimed by Dr. Suswam.”