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Ortom Disowns Former Benue LG Chairman Over Atiku’s Comment

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has refuted claims by a former Ushongo local council chairman, Joseph Asawa, who made spurious accusations against the governor on social media and at a press conference.

Governor Ortom said that Asawa had claimed that supporters of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, were targeted for assault, alleging that the governor sponsored youths who allegedly manhandled him during the successful inauguration of the Benue North West Senatorial campaign rally in Gboko earlier this week.

But a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Nathaniel Ikyur, on Friday noted, “Governor Ortom could not have condescended so low to direct his supporters to molest anyone at the Gboko rally as violence has never been part of his style of politics.

“Asawa is a beneficiary of the governor’s peaceful disposition as he had at different times intervened between the former Ushongo council chairman and either his legislative council members or other stakeholders when his tenure lasted.

“This is false, misleading, and a calculated attempt by the former Council Chairman to use the name of the Governor and win cheap sympathy from the Atiku Abubakar camp.”

Nkyur further stressed that the governor “is a stickler for the rule of law. He has never used thugs either during elections or at any other time and so does not patronise them, contrary to the claims by the former council chairman.

“It is a fact that Governor Ortom facilitated the nomination and subsequent election of Hon Asawa as the Executive Chairman of Ushongo Local Government in 2020. He will, therefore, won’t go back to destroy what he helped build.”

He added, “From the outbursts of Hon Asawa, it is obvious that he wants to take advantage of the call for fairness and equity by the G-5 Governors, which Governor Ortom is a member to be recognised by the camp of the presidential candidate of our party.”

The media aide urged the general public to discountenance the claims of the former Ushongo chairman that the thugs who allegedly manhandled him during the campaign rally were sent by the governor.

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