A former Senate President, David Mark has countered the wheel barrow empowerment move made by the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom describing him as ‘Ortom de barrow’.
The former Senate president made this known while commissioning of the Brick House and the chapel at government house, Port Harcourt.
He further mocked the empowerment move by the state governor adding that Samuel Ortom does not deserve to be a governor as he was distributing wheelbarrows while other governors were busy building roads and bridges.
The Benue state governor however in his reply noted that the former senate president is disconnected from his people and was only jealous of his achievement.
He said: “Mark’s statements smack of a man who has obviously been disconnected with the very people who voted him. His utterances also exude envy against Governor Ortom who is succeeding where Mark has failed. In Benue South which Senator Mark represents, the Ortom administration has embarked on a number of projects for the people.”
Replying to the claims made by the state governor, the former Senate President via his media aide, Paul Mumeh said: “Unarguably, It would have made a huge political capital for Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state and his handlers to maintain sealed lips over this ill – fated ‘Ortom de Barrow’ saga.
“The news is in the market places and even the blind can see the reign of Wheel Barrows as youth Empowerment gimmick in Benue state under the watchful eyes of Ortom.
“The Immediate past President of the Senate Senator David Mark is not known for pretenses. He is ever pointedly frank and blunt. He calls a spade its rightful name no matter whose ox is gored.
“What is there to envy Ortom about. In fact, Ortom deserves pity. He needs help because the sorry state of affairs in Benue state have unarguably overwhelmed him. Is it the volume of unpaid salaries to workers, leading to industrial actions, the unabating insecurity in the land leading to lost of thousands of lives and property to the state of despondency under Ortom that Senator Mark should be envy of.
“Remember this is a man (Mark) who was a state governor in his early 30s, a minister and the then youngest member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC). It is on record that Mark is the longest serving Senator in Nigeria and president of the Senate for eight uninterrupted years. Ortom like every other NIGERIAN knew how Mark’s steady hands in the upper legislative chambers especially his invocation of Doctrine of Necessity saved the nation from the political logjam in 2010.
“If Ortom feels strongly about the concerns of Nigerians over his less than honest performance and not just that Senator Mark merely reechoed what the people already know, he should rise up to the challenge and serve the people of Benue state diligently and honestly. Ortom should ordinarily know that anything short of the welfare and security of citizens of Benue state amounts to a disservice to the state and clearly unacceptable to Senator Mark.
“The situation in Benue today should challenge any responsible government to roll up its sleeves and go back to work instead of perceiving the peoples’ comment from the prism of politics.
“Senator Mark is a respected statesman in whom every emerging leaders, like Ortom, should run to and draw from his experience and wisdom. It is a fruitless effort to drag his name to the mud.”