By John Alechenu, Abuja
The Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Mr. Nathaniel Ikyur, has dismissed claims by the immediate past Chairman of Ushongo Local Government Area, Joseph Asawa, that Governor Samuel Ortom, sponsored an alleged attack on supporters of the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, in Gboko.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Friday.
Ikyur said the clarification became necessary in response to a statement on Social Media as well as a press conference addressed by Asawa.
Ortom’s Spokesperson said the former council chairman cried wolf where there was none.
According to him, Asawa’s false outcry arose from an incident during the successful flag-off of the Benue North West Senatorial campaign rally in Gboko earlier this week.
He also expressed displeasure that the former council boss further alleged that the Governor sponsored youths who allegedly manhandled him.
Ikyur said, “This is false, misleading and a calculated attempt by the former Council Chairman to use the name of the Governor and win cheap sympathy from the Atiku Abubakar camp.
“Governor Ortom could not have condescended so low to direct his supporters to molest anyone at the Gboko rally as violence has never been part of his style of politics.
“ Asawa is a beneficiary of the Governor’s peaceful disposition as he had at different times intervened between the former Ushongo council chairman and either his legislative council members or other stakeholders when his tenure lasted.
“Governor Ortom is a stickler for the rule of law. He has never used thugs either during elections or at any other time and so does not patronise them, contrary to the claims by the former council chairman.
“It is a fact that Governor Ortom facilitated the nomination and subsequent election of Hon Asawa as the Executive Chairman of Ushongo Local Government in 2020.
“He will therefore won’t go back to destroy what he helped build.
“From the outbursts of Hon Asawa, it is obvious that he wants to take advantage of the call for fairness and equity by the G-5 Governors which Governor Ortom is a member to be recognised by the camp of the presidential candidate of our party.
“We, therefore, urge the general public to discountenance the claims of the former Ushongo chairman that the thugs who allegedly manhandled him during the campaign rally were sent by the Governor.”