Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has vowed never to apologise to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, over his recent remarks on the state of the nation.
Ortom stated this in response to calls by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, George Akume, that he should tender an unreserved apology to the president and APC.
Akume, a former governor of the state, said Ortom should apologise and stop attacking Buhari and his administration.
Reacting, the governor downplayed Akume’s call, stressing that he would never stop criticizing the Buhari government when necessary.
In a statement by his spokesman, Tever Akase, on Tuesday, the governor rebuked Akume for refusing to stand by the people of the state.
He accused the former governor of teaming up with the “enemies to organize a smear campaign against him.”
The statement reads: “As expected, Senator Akume and his group avoided responding to the issues of insecurity in the country which the Governor has repeatedly and rightly accused the Presidency of complicity.
“The outing of George Akume and others in Abuja was nothing more than a massage on the ego of the Presidency to curry personal favours.
“As long as he and his group secure their meal tickets, Benue can go to hell. A media attack on Governor Ortom instantly attracts a package from the Villa.
“Akume and his group must have been under immense pressure to hold the press conference and hurl vituperation against the Governor. This, they had to do to keep their jobs.”
Ortom has been a vocal critic of the president and his government over their bizarre silence in the wake of attacks on farmers and communities in the state.
On several occasions, Ortom had accused the Buhari-led government of backing armed herders against Benue residents in their larger bid to ‘Fulanize’ Nigeria.