Benue will rather die than be Fulani slaves, says Governor Ortum
By Saliu Disu and Samuel Ogunsona
The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said that he and his Benue people would rather die in defence of their land people than be slaves to Fulani invaders.
The Benue State Governor in his speech stimulated the 18th century fierce resistance of his Tiv ethnic during the Uthman Dan Fodio campaign to take most part of today’s Middle Belt. The Tiv organised an effective and well structured native Army that defeated the Fulani Jihad in every each of its ancestral home. The Junkun did the same to defend the remnants of the Kwararafa multi-ethnic State which had earlier flourished in the 1500s
“I will never support a Fulani man to become president. If there is another person who is ready to work with me and ensure the security of my people, I will work with him,”
Ortum said “To hell with Atiku and anyone supporting him. They should go and tell him. You want me to be a slave for a Fulani. It is better that I die. Anybody supporting Atiku is an enemy of Benue.”
“My tenure ends in May, and you can do whatever you want if you think you have the powers. I have written my will. When I gave it to my wife, she cried all night. If I die at 62, many of my mates have gone a long time ago, and if I die today, I’m a fulfilled person, but let it be recorded that I died resisting the invasion and killing of my people.
Today, some 35 percent of the entire population of Tiv people are in refugee camps following the persistent attacks on their homeland by the armed Fulani men who have built a formidable fortress along the Niger-Benue basin.
Ortum asked the Fulani Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to “go to hell.”
The governor spoke while hosting other Governors of colleagues from Rivers, Oyo, Abia, and Enugu States.
Ortum had hosted them to a dinner party at the government house in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
The four governors are in the PDP but have disagreement with the PDP policy that rejected power rotation to the South.
The Governors are Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State
The meeting held last weekend.
Ortom said that he would not support Atiku’s presidential bid to continue the killing of Benue people.
Ortom praised God that the Governors arrived Benue peacefully.
He said they Governors are true friends of the Benue people.
He justified the conferment on Wike the of the Eagle of Tiv Land.
He said when he, Ortom,was attacked, Wike was the first person to speak out to condemn the assault.
“He did not keep quiet when Benue was under siege; he visited with stakeholders from Rivers State and committed N250m, and subsequently he has committed over N700 million to Benue IDPs.”
He condemned some Benue sons, particularly those at the National Assembly behave like conspirators.
“From tomorrow, I’m turning my venom on the National Assembly members from the state who are romancing with Buhari to kill the Benue people.”
He stated that as the state launches the campaign, it was his belief that the PDP would win the 2023 elections. “As we trust in him, in 2023, if the elections hold, we are good to go, and by the grace of God, we will win. Benue is PDP, and PDP is Benue state.”
The G-5 governors, in their behalf Wike said
“The G-5 governors are the integrity governors, and anyone can challenge us. We have come to give Governor Samuel Ortom solidarity support for the inauguration of campaigns in Benue and to tell Benue people that we are with Governor Ortom. Like us or hate us, we are with Ortom. You cannot break us. We are bonded together.
“Leadership is risk-taking. Whether you like him or not, Ortom has shown leadership.”