Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has urged former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to apologise for lying against him.
Mr Ortom said this when he received a group, under the aegis of Jemgbagh Youths, on a protest at the Government House, Makurdi, over alleged lies against Mr. Ortom by the PDP presidential candidate.
He stated that Mr. Atiku should make a public apology for alleging that his brothers were stealing herdsmen’s cattle in the state.
“Immediately I heard the news, I sent him a message on WhatsApp and he apologised to me.”
“I told him to make the apology public but he declined, and I am saying he cannot undress an elderly person like me in public and then come back to dress me in a room.
“He lied against me and I take exception to that because what he said is hate speech,” Mr Ortom said.
The governor faulted Mr Atiku’s claim that he issued a blanket condemnation of all Fulani people as bad, saying he never said that.
“Some Fulani people are my friends, I trust them to a point of even taking them to my bedroom and I have not sent any Fulani man away from Benue.
“It is only the foreign ones that came from Mali, Mauritania among others that are terrorising our people.
“Atiku, you have been very unfair to Benue people and Fulani people alone cannot make you the president,” he said.
Mr Ortom said, however, that in spite of the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he would work toward its victory at all levels in the state.
He stated that no matter what happened, a baby cannot be thrown away with the birth water.
“I am committed to the victory of the party at all levels in the state,” he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for condemning the attacks by suspected herdsmen in Gbeji, Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of Gboko LGA, Isaac Mtom, said the group visited the governor to identify with him over his developmental strides as well condemn Mr Atiku’s outburst.
Mr Mtom said Atiku’s statement clearly showed that he did not mean well for Benue people.