Beer drinking: Ortom clarifies unsavoury comment on Benue people
The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said he was referring to members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his controversial comment about citizens “drinking beer” and sleeping all day.
Ortom made the clarification in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur on Saturday.
The Herald, quoting New Telegraph, had reported that while commissioning the new building of RCN Embassy Church in Makurdi, Ortom said: “If you go round Makurdi town, our people start drinking beer from 9 am and some from there, they will go to sleep, and they come back and insult the governor for not helping them to add value to their lives…”
The comment drew heavy backlash.
In Saturday’s statement, Ortom’s aide said that the “disrespectful publication” was aimed at pitching the people of the state against the governor.
“We wish to state categorically that the news, especially the caption is a completely mischievous misrepresentation and an attempt to ridicule the person of the governor.
“The Governor was clear that most Benue people know and do appreciate the great developmental strides he is doing for them. He regretted that some of those who insult, blackmail, or castigate him unnecessarily, specifically are a few and from the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC who sit in beer parlours for long hours and have conditioned their minds to malign him no matter how much he has done.
“He was clear how these APC supporters do that without cogent or issue-based criticisms but simply out of mischief. He was also clear that critics of his administration should offer constructive criticisms as he does to the federal government,” the statement read in part.
The governor’s aide said his principal acknowledged how the people of Benue in 2015 and 2019 displayed very clearly that they love him by voting for him first as governor and by re-electing him overwhelmingly for the second term.
“The Governor, whenever he has an opportunity, acknowledges the determination, hard work and industrious nature of every Benue man and woman, young or old and the support Benue people have given him since 2015, if not, the APC led federal government may have eliminated him,” the statement further read.