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The Benue State Government has accused the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, of misleading President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigerian security issues.
It was learned that Governor El-Rufai accused his Benue counterpart, Governor Ortom, of using instability in Benue to target the Federal Government in order to cover up his weakness in a tweet.
In a statement released on Saturday by Terver Akase, the state governor’s Chief Press Secretary, the state government said El-Rufai is unqualified to comment on security issues in the country because of his failure to reduce kidnappings and killings in his state.
The statement also accused the Governor of fracturing the citizens of Kaduna State, emphasising that Ortom is not to blame for the state’s high degree of insecurity.
“We want to believe that El-Rufai was misquoted,” the declaration says. A man who has suffered in many areas as Kaduna Governor has little legal standing to blame another Governor.
“A Governor who has divided the good people of Kaduna against one another by not hiding his hatred of indigenes of the state on account of religion and ethnicity is not qualified to judge another Governor on any issue whatsoever. A Governor who chose a Muslim deputy in a state where Christians have a huge population is certainly not one to preach unity and peaceful co-existence.
“El-Rufai’s attack on Governor Ortom is merely to make him look good before the Presidency. He has apparently fallen out of favour at the Villa and wants to use Governor Ortom as a launch pad back to reckoning. How has he handled his own problems in Kaduna? This is a man who has insulted almost every prominent Nigerian including the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Olusegun Obasanjo; a man who is his former boss and one who brought him to limelight.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the unprintable things El-Rufai said during Goodluck Jonathan’s time as President. He insulted the then President and publicly supported terrorists attacking parts of the country. His statements on the abduction of Chibok girls and several other acts of terrorism are still fresh in our minds. El-Rufai is on record to have said repeatedly that Fulani people must retaliate any wrong done to them no matter how long it takes.
“Is Governor Ortom responsible for El-Rufai’s inability to ensure peace in Kaduna State where bandits have taken over some communities while kidnappings and killings occur on a daily basis?
‘El-Rufai confessed to paying Fulani herdsmen he welcomed from other West African countries to avoid attacks in Southern Kaduna. Attacks on the residents of Southern Kaduna have increased since he made the confessional remark. This is why he wishes men of faith, such as Governor Ortom, to remain quiet in order for the invasion and expansion agenda to continue.
“Kidnapping has become a common crime in Kaduna State under Nasir el-Rufai.
Aside from the well-publicized incidents, it is estimated that at any given time, at least 300 people are kidnapped in Kaduna by kidnappers who are often known as El-relatives. Rufai’s He gives them billions of dollars to encourage them. He has made the state one of the most dangerous places to work in Nigeria today.
“Talking about taking someone seriously, if other Nigerians take El-Rufai seriously, we in Benue do not do the same. A man who has no regard for humanity does not deserve our attention.
“Nasir el-Rufai is a sycophant, ethnic champion and religious bigot who hates anyone who does not share the same faith with him. He is among the very few persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari. El-Rufai is one of the real enemies of this country who do not hide their divisive tendencies by elevating nepotism and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades.
“Nasir el-Rufai doesn’t possess the credentials to counsel anyone on payment of salaries and the welfare of workers. This is a Governor who recently sacked 4,000 workers for no just cause. He ought to be ashamed of himself. What happened to the lofty promises he made to the Kaduna people in 2015?
“The Kaduna Governor should know that only two days ago, the people of Benue State met at a stakeholders meeting in Makurdi and unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ortom in recognition of his performance. That meeting was attended across party lines with leaders of All Progressives Congress, APC also present.
“El-Rufai and his conspirators must note that Benue State will not repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, no matter the amount of blackmail, hatred and threats they wage against Governor Ortom.
“We advise the Kaduna State Governor to focus on addressing the numerous problems he has created in his state and leave Governor Ortom to lead Benue in peace”.