The Governor of Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, on Monday accused the Federal Government of plotting his death.
Ortom disclosed this during a media briefing in Abuja. He noted that he was being persecuted, and that the Federal Government should be blamed, should anything bad happen to him.
He alleged that an unnamed cabal within President Buhari’s government are using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ‘chase’ him and his staff.
Ortom said, “All of us should stand up and chase away that cabal because we did not elect any cabal. I am being persecuted because the cabal doesn’t like me. They do all sort of things and the EFCC has been chasing me and my staff for the past 10 months. I am not afraid and I have not done anything wrong.
“But they have been chasing me all over the place. Persecution is so much and they have been threatening my life. If I die today, the Federal Government should be held responsible. They are responsible because they are planning to even eliminate me but I am not going to stop. I will continue to defend my people. The primary responsibility of any responsible government is to defend the people and provide security for lives and property.”
Ortom expressed his willingness to concede victory if he lost the governorship election in a transparent and credible electoral process.
The governor added that he had paid workers’ salaries from January 2018 till date, noting that he was trying to raise funds to address arrears of gratuity and pensions.
He explained that his new party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has offered him rest from the spate of godfatherism and intimidation he had to face when we was in the All Progressives Congress.
The governor added, “We are not intimidating our opponents. What we want is a free and fair election that will usher in credible leaders that the people want. As long as that happens, we have no issue. We are ready to concede defeat where the electoral process is transparent. But anything short of that will not be acceptable.
“The worry we have now is that the judiciary is being bastardised by the Federal Government and that is why we are insisting that the Presidency must reverse (the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen) because they have no power whatsoever to suspend him.”
Speaking on the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, Ortom expressed dismay that Buhari purportedly acted “on an order from the Code of Conduct Tribunal, whose chairman, Umar Danladi, is being prosecuted for corruption.”
The governor called on Buhari to reverse the suspension, noting that the cabal in the Presidency might not be unconnected to Onnoghen’s suspension.