It’s uncharitable to call Bala Mohammed ‘a terrorist’ – Fani-Kayode flays Ortom
Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has faulted Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom for tagging his Bauchi State counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed a “terrorist”, describing the comment as “uncharitable”.
Fani-Kayode statedthis in a Twitter thread on Monday evening.
Ortom had made the comment earlier in the day while condemning Mohammed’s controversial comment that Fulani herdsmen went around with AK-47 rifles for self-defence.
The duo has been at loggerheads since the Bauchi governor claimed recently that Ortom was responsible for creating a “negative perception of Fulani herders”.
Addressing reporters in Makurdi on Monday, Ortom who said he did not want to join issue with his Bauchi counterpart however said, “since he has chosen to continue to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me, and since it is said that silence is consent, I am compelled to respond.
“I am beginning to think that my brother the Bauchi Governor is part of the Fulani terrorist organisation that is unleashing mayhem in this country.
“Why do I say this? This is the same Governor who took the oath of office to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Constitution does not leave room to allow foreign herdsmen or foreign Tiv people or Fulani people or Yoruba to come in without valid papers.
“This is a Governor who said that the Fulani man is a global man so he can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a Governor who took an oath to say that.
“He should go back and check the oath if he is protecting the Constitution by allowing foreign terrorist herdsmen to come into Nigeria.
“Of course he justified his position that Fulani herdsmen should carry AK-47 to protect themselves. I do not know where the Constitution of this country allows any man or woman who is not licensed by security agencies to carry even Dane guns not to talk of automatic rifles like AK-47.”
Reacting to Ortom’s comment, Fani-Kayode, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like the two warring governors, advised the Benue governor to be circumspect in his statements.
He wrote, “We must choose our battles wisely & know who our real enemies are. I have disagreed with my friend and brother Gov. Bala Mohammed on several occassions over the years and I do not share his views on a number of issues but to describe him as a terrorist is uncharitable and absurd.
“his is a man who stands up for Southerners, Middle Belters and Christians as much as he stands up for Northern Muslims. It is fair to say that had it not been for his efforts President Goodluck Jonathan may not have become President after President Yar’Adua died.
“His role in the Senate at that time in ensuring that the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was declared Acting President was exemplary and inspiring.
“Bala may sometimes say things that many in the South disagree with but his spirit is clean and his mind is pure.
“He is not a racist, a religious bigot, or a hegemonist and supremacist. He is not the one that leads a state in which Christians are being slaughtered or that ethnic minorities are being marginalised, humiliated and destroyed.
“If you are looking for a terrorist Governor I can name one or two but Bala is not amongst them. He is a leading member of the PDP Ministers Forum, a group which I belong to, and I assure anyone that cares to listen that he is far more comfortable with indulging in an intellectual joust in which we can agree to disagree than in carrying guns, throwing bombs and killing people.
“It would serve our interest better if we learnt to separate the wheat from the chaff and stop demonising people simply because they do not share our views.
“To call Bala a terrorist is unacceptable and erroneous. I doubt that has ever killed a chicken let alone a human being.”