- Ortom: Mohammed ‘Part of A.. Terrorist Organisation’
- Fani-Kayode: Your Comment ‘Erroneous And Unacceptable’
- Bauchi Governor’s ‘Speech Unexpected Of Him’, Says Akeredolu
From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode has reacted to a statement credited to Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom which accused his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, of being a terrorist.
Governor Ortom had on Monday slammed Mohammed for his controversial utterances in support of herdsmen carrying AK-47 to defend themselves.
Fani-Kayode while reacting on his verified twitter handle said, it is ‘erroneous and unacceptable’ for Governor Ortom to called his Bauchi counterpart a terrorist.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi, Benue State capital on Monday, Ortom said Gov. Mohammed is a terrorist for supporting illegal arms wielding by foreign herdsmen who are fast becoming a threat to national peace and survival.
He stated that Governor Mohammed’s oath of office conferred on him the right to protect indigenes in the state and not to support killer herdsmen causing mayhem in parts of the country.
Ortom’s statement reads: “I wouldn’t want to be joining issues with my brother, friend, and colleague Bauchi Governor. But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me. It is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising 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. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.
“This is a man who says that a Fulani man is a global man and can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office …maybe he should go back and check the oath of office he took to check maybe the constitution gives room for foreign terrorist Fulani herdsmen to come into Nigeria,” Ortom said.
Reacting, Fani-Kayode said he has had differences with Governor Mohammed on a lot of things in time past, but not to call him a terrorist.
He added that Mohammed has been involved in so many things which had strengthened our relationships as Nigerians.
The former minister attributed the emergence of ex-wife President Goodluck Jonathan to Governor Mohammed.
His statement reads: “We must choose our battles wisely and know who our real enemies are. I have disagreed with my friend and brother, Governor Bala Mohammed on several occasions 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.
“This is a man who stands up for the 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 he has ever killed a chicken let alone a human being” Fani-Kayode concluded.
It would be recalled that the Bauchi state Governor had last Friday defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.
“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” Mohammed said.
But his comments have continued to draw condemnation from Nigerians as many described the arming of herdsmen as a further threat to national security already rocked on all sides.
Commenting on Governor Mohammed’s dangerous proposition, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu said his colleague has further heated the polity with his utterance, saying: “For what purpose? Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared.”