By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has clarified that he never referred to Benue people as drunkards stressing that the indigenes of the state are hard working people who appreciate his developmental strides, unlike the All Progressives Congress, APC, members who sit in beer parlors as early as 9am to castigate him after getting drunk.
The Governor in a statement Sunday in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Nathaniel Ikyur said the clarification became necessary after the social media and online platforms were awashed with stories claiming that he called all Benue people drunkards.
Part of the statement read: “we wish to state categorically that the news, especially the caption is a completely mischievous misrepresentation and an attempt to ridule the person of the Governor .
“The Governor was clear that most Benue people know and do appreciate the great developmental strides he is doing for them. He regretted that some of those who insult, blackmail or castigate him unnecessarily, specifically are a few and from the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, who sit in beer parlours for long hours and have conditioned their minds to malign him no matter how much he has done.
“He was clear how these APC supporters do that without cogent or issue-based criticisms but simply out of mischief. He was also clear that critics of his administration should offer constructive criticisms as he does to the federal government.
“At that function in question, which was the Dedication and Inaugural Service of RCN Embassy Church, Makurdi, Governor Ortom specifically asked the people of Benue State and indeed Nigerians to continue to pray for him and other leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari rather than always criticising him.
“He quoted from the Bible where the scriptures asked Christians to pray for their leaders and all those in authority. Governor Ortom acknowledges how the people of Benue have in 2015 and 2019 displayed very clearly that they love him by voting for him first as Governor and by re-electing him overwhelmingly for the second term.
“The Governor, whenever he has an opportunity, acknowledges the determination, hard work and industrious nature of every Benue man and woman, young or old and the support Benue people have given him since 2015, if not, the APC led federal government may have eliminated him.
“It is therefore a figment of the imagination of a reporter to want to twist the Governor’s words out of context so as to pitch the people of the state against the Governor with the disrespectful publication. The public should therefore discountenance that report.”