The Presidency yesterday urged Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom to desist from basing his campaign for re-election on “falsehood” about President Muhammadu Buhari and focus on the dire issues confronting the state.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also said Ortom’s campaign was designed to stir division and hatred as well as divert the people’s attention from his inability to pay workers’ salaries and pensions for several months.
The statement said the governor had allegedly been visiting churches where he falsely told the congregations about President Buhari’s so-called plans to Islamise the state.
It said: “This nonsense has formed the basis of his campaign because he has nothing to offer Benue people.
“The allegations coming from Ortom were particularly unfair, when one considers how much support the governor received from the Federal Government, which supported his grazing laws as a means to end the farmers’/herders’ crises that have plagued the state.
“If not for President Buhari’s insistence that the governor be given a chance to implement the law, he would have faced resistance from different sources and found it difficult to implement.
“While advising Ortom to immediately stop his dubious attacks on President Buhari, the Federal Government calls on the people of Benue State to not fall for Ortom’s deception and allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such a negative campaign.
“They should instead ask him why he has refused to pay workers’ salaries and pensions for months, and what he did with the funding from the excess crude account which should ideally have gone towards addressing such payments.”