BREAKING: Miyetti Allah wants me dead, Benue state governor says
The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has hinted that there is a plot by the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state led by one Gaurus Gololo to allegedly eliminate him.
He stated this when he spoke with journalists in the state after a meeting with his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam and paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse.
“There are threats on my life and I have reported that to the security agencies that one Gaurus Gololo and his team who are members of MACBAN was planning to attack me,” Ortom said.
He added; “But I always said life belongs to God, it is God that gives and takes away life so my life is not in the hands of any Fulani man who is not happy with the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in the state”.
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has agreed to sheathe his swords and work harmoniously with his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam for the common good and development of the state.
This followed a reconciliatory meeting convened at the instance of paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse to mediate in the protracted face-off between the two politicians of the Tiv extraction.
The peace meeting which took place at the palace of the Tor Tiv, started at about 5 pm on Sunday and spilled over to the early hours of yesterday attracting traditional rulers from both Sankera and Minda geopolitical axis from where the ex-governor and his successor hail from.
The meeting excluded journalists but according to sources, the Tiv monarch was said to have expressed deep sadness over the continued disagreement between the two illustrious Tiv sons whom he said are supposed to be attracting development to their people instead of been at loggerheads hence the need to call them together for reconciliation and to hear both sides.
Suswam, it was learnt had told the Tor Tiv that when he handed over to Ortom in 2015, he told him to feel free to approach him on any issue concerning his government, but what followed that was the setting up of a panel to probe him, and noted that the panel came out with frivolous allegations against him and that the governor went ahead and report him to the EFCC and ICPC while all his appointees were sacked.
But Ortom in a reaction was said to have denied ever petitioning Suswam to the two anti-graft agencies. He also said he did not detail the EFCC and ICPC to seize Suswam’s property, stressing that “they are doing that as part of their operational duty”
Speaking with journalists on the outcome of the meeting in his office yesterday, Governor Ortom said he personally agreed to put behind his animosity against his predecessor and work together for peace and development of the state.
Governor Ortom quoted the Tor Tiv as attributing some of the challenges confronting his administration to their inability to synergise and work together as a team, and stressed the need for them to bury their hatchets and contribute their quota for the development of the state and Tiv nation in particular.
“The meeting was convened at the instance of the Tor Tiv and I was there, former governor Gabriel Suswam was also there and principally the meeting was a peace meeting. The Tor Tiv told us that he noticed that for awhile, the relationship between myself and that of the former governor is not good and he needed us as his Tiv prominent sons to work together, that whatever is our differences we should sheathe our swords and work together for the common good of the people of Benue State”.
“He also attributed some of the challenges we are having today in Benue as a result our inability to synergise and work together as a team, and we agreed to work together to see how we can make Benue better than where we are”.
Ortom debunked claims that the reconciliation was because of 2019 political calculations, saying for now he has suspended all political activities pending when the killings by Fulani herdsmen is put to rest and thousands of internally displaced persons return to their ancestral homes.
2019: Tinubu begs Saraki, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso
- Sani: APC doomed if Tinubu’s reconciliation fails
- Kaduna faction suspends el-Rufai for 6 months
There are indications that the presidency and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have finally opted to beg chieftains and major stakeholders of the ruling party, who are threatening to dump the platform ahead of the 2019 general elections. New Telegraph exclusively learnt from party sources at the weekend that the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is reaching out to the aggrieved party members and doing everything possible to convince them to shelve their plan. In the past few days, Tinubu has been meeting and begging aggrieved party stakeholders.
It was particularly gathered that Tinubu, who heads the party’s National Reconciliation Committee, is not only appealing to the APC stalwarts to stay, but to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the ruling party in the 2019 general elections.
Buhari had charged Tinubu to resolve disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation. So far, Tinubu has met separately with the members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC); Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Governors Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano). He also met with the immediate past governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko and his predecessor, Aminu Tambuwal, at the weekend.
Though details of some of the meetings were not made public, multiple sources said Tinubu is using the opportunity to appeal to the APC chieftains to stay in the party and support Buhari’s government. The party leaders lamented that Buhari alienated them from the government they sacrificed to enthrone.
“Tinubu is appealing that they should stay; not just to stay, but to support the President’s second term bid. He is also begging them to cease fire, come closer and that whatever it is, especially the issue of 2019, would be negotiated,” he said. When asked what have been the responses of those the APC national leader has so far met, the source said: “Most of those he has met welcomed him, but that doesn’t mean that the issues at stake have been resolved. Body language would be smile and ‘we are still with you,’ but don’t take that to the bank.”
He added: “Nobody will come out to basically tell you what his or her grievances are, but reconciliation is not a one-day thing. It cannot be at the first meeting and it is beyond meeting with state excos of the party. It requires oneon- one meetings with those involved. So, we are expecting that more meetings would be fixed, and where there are issues, would be discussed at length.”
On the conditions the aggrieved party chieftains gave for their continued stay in the APC, the source said they are open to negotiations, but that the last straw would be if the party leadership insists that there won’t be a convention to elect a presidential candidate for the 2019 elections. His words: “If Buhari says he will not run in 2019, they will stay in the APC and support whoever wins the presidential primaries. If he says that he will run and wants the party to endorse him as the sole candidate, they will move out.
If he says he will run and that the party will have primaries; they will stay and fight him at the primaries and that is what he is afraid of. You know that anything is possible in a primary election.” Expressing the fear that the Tinubu committee may run into hitches, another source said a lot of things have gone wrong within the ruling party and that most chieftains have made up their minds on the President before now.
His word: “Too many things have gone wrong and reconciliation, less than one year to the elections, is likely not to yield the desired result because people made up their minds about Buhari a year ago and it is difficult to heal the wound of three years.
“Those with the President are practically unmarketable. The expectation was high at the inauguration of this government, but the President has underperformed. So, I think Tinubu is just playing along because he was the first victim. He knows that the damage has been done.
“Tinubu also knows that he was sidelined and there is no guarantee that things will improve if the President comes back. So, except he (Tinubu) extracts something really big, he would just be doing a paper work. And I must tell you that he would have his Plan B. “How do you reconcile the various factions?
There are so many aggrieved people and how do you recruit them for the next elections? Even if you succeed in recruiting them, the tendency is that they will work half-heartedly.” Buhari, on his part, is said to have realised that a lot of party chieftains are not happy with him and has also resorted to appeal for their support. “Tinubu is begging aggrieved party chieftains who are not happy with the president and APC. These people sacrificed a lot to build the party and they cannot because of one man, who got it wrong, allow it to go down. But, now that he (Buhari) has realised his mistakes, the belief now is let’s rebuild the party for him to come back,” one of the sources said.
Onaiyekan to Buhari: You’re not delivering on your promises
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, yesterday, yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari that the change he promised Nigerians was becoming a mirage. Onaiyekan, who delivered a homily at the opening Mass of the first 2018 plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), also told the president that Nigerians deserved more than they were getting from him. He therefore called on Nigerians to use the 2019 election to effect a radical change for the betterment of the country.
He argued that in the last three years, Nigerians have been hearing much about change, but have seen rather little of it. He said: “Yes, our nation is in a state of uncertainty and confusion. A few things are going well in the society and the economy for which we thank God and congratulate our leaders.
They tell us that they are doing their best. But a lot still needs to be done and too many problems have been left to fester. Our nation surely deserves far better than it is now getting in terms of good governance, social justice and peace and minimum of well being for our people.”
The former President of CAN said so far, government has spent so much time and energy demonizing its predecessor that it seemed to have forgotten its promise of a better life for Nigerians. He added:“It has unfortunately allowed the initial massive goodwill it enjoyed to be depleted, almost to nonexistence.
It is no wonder that many Nigerians are looking for a new political organization that can truly bring about genuine change for the better. Having tried our two major political parties and found none of them up to our expectation, the nation is on the verge of despair….” “Another election is fast approaching.
We must seize this God-given opportunity to radically change things around. We should no longer allow politics to remain business as usual in the hands of the same gang of speculators and opportunists. We must change the rule of the game, not the faces of the players.” However, Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the CBCN was the only Christian platform that gave the president a listening ear prior to the 2015 presidential election. Mustapha added that the president believed that the CBCN was a strategic partner in building the nation, even as he noted that the CBCN have a lot to offer the nation.
“And for that reason, he remains eternally grateful. And I remember at that engagement, they asked very pertinent questions – direct, bullets to the face. And he provided answers. And because of that reason, he believes that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria is a strategic partner in the enterprise of growing the Nigeria nation and he believes that they have a lot to offer,” Mustapha said. Also speaking, a former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, maintained that the current administration has done well, particularly in the area of infrastructural development.
Kalu particularly mentioned the Second Niger Bridge; Enugu-Onitsha Expressway; Enugu-Port Harcourt- Okigwe; Aba-Umuahia Expressway, while also saying that the president is doing everything within his power to salvage the economy. Speaking with journalists, Kalu prayed for the good of the country and wished Nigerians well, that they can enjoy the dividends of democracy. “This is not media hype. I am not a spokesman for the president. Everybody knows that I speak the truth. APC have done very well
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