Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, says he is working with Nyesom Wike, his Rivers counterpart, to liberate Nigeria.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ortom made the statement on Sunday when he hosted his colleagues — Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu — in Makurdi, Benue state capital.
Ortom described Wike as a “worthy friend” who has always shown support for the people of Benue.
“When Benue was under siege, he donated N250 million and he subsequently spent over N700 million to support the state to tackle the humanitarian crisis occasioned by the unwarranted attacks,” Ortom said.
“He did not stop at that. He convinced Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom to also assist the state and he donated N200 million to us.”
“Is he not a worthy friend? He is a worthy friend and we are working together to liberate the country.
“Many have wondered why I have chosen to swim with Wike. Many have wondered why I have chosen to work with him in darkness and in the midst of storms and threats and also trial and brimstone.
“This is a man who stood with us during our trying times and came out, did not fear about threats of the federal government or federal might, but came out and say look, if you kill Ortom, you have killed Nigeria.
“They call it farmers/herders fight. We say it’s all lies, Fulani is coming to invade us. Wike came out, brought stakeholders from Rivers state and they came here. Wike offered us solidarity and in faith with the Benue people and give his commitment.”
Wike had contested the PDP presidential election in May but lost to Atiku Abubakar.
The Rivers governor also lost the PDP vice-presidential ticket after Atiku picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, over Wike who was recommended by a panel comprising governors and national working committee (NWC) members.
The Rivers governor is at the forefront of the campaign for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of PDP.
Despite being from the same Tiv-speaking part of Benue with Ayu, Ortom has insisted that Wike’s demand be met.