Samuel, The Saint Is Now A Sinner, The Story of Ortom
Nigeria News takes a look at the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom who decamped from APC to PDP.
If not for immunity, by now, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom would have been invited by the police and the Department of State Service as a suspect in the herdsmen killings that have pervaded the state for some time.
But the Nigeria law covers governors and president with immunity as they can only be investigated, they cannot be prosecuted. Pending the expiration of his tenure in the next few months, Ortom will not be prosecuted but his role in Benue massacre is being investigated by the police.
Samuel, not the son of Hannah, the Jewish Priest but Samuel the son of Ortom, a Benue Governor has been indicted by the All Progressives Congress, his former party, of fueling the ethnic clash between the Fulani herdsmen and the local farmers in Benue State.
Many innocent people had been killed in this state while many were displaced by the marauders, whose carnage is becoming more fatal than the one unleashed on the Tiv race by Uthman Dan Fodio, centuries ago.
Amazed that Ortom who had his cap in hands in the company of other Benue leaders and elders before President Muhammadu Buhari to seek protection after 72 innocent persons, including women and children were killed in a broad daylight could easily be tagged an ethnic bigot by the All Progressives Congress.
Samuel Ortom saw the killings of his clans by herdsmen, supervised by the Nigerian Army. He buried the dead bodies with no single Federal Government representation and went ahead to honour Buhari’s invitation.
It is irritating that the bereaved governor of Benue and his delegation would have to go to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the president told them to go and cry no more but for them to halt such killings, they would have to be their brothers.
They will have to allow the herdsmen to graze their cattle on the peoples’ farm or else the government of the state must be ready to give out lands for cattle ranching.
Samuel has been so quiet during the killings and after the killings. He raised the alarm how the police had colluded with the herdsmen to kill. He called for the arrest and prosecution of the leaders of the cattle breeders association, some of whom he said he could identify but the Federal Government turned all his requests down.
Yet, he was a member of the ruling APC until last week when he decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party. Before his move, Samuel said that the APC that he helped to form had shown him a red card and would need to cross to PDP.
The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole quickly arranged a meeting with Samuel to make the governor change his mind. Yes, Oshiomhole succeeded in convincing Samuel Ortom but just for a while, the governor threw in the towel at last as he said goodbye to APC.
The chicken has come back home to roost, Ortom is back in PDP. Oshiomhole who had earlier described Ortom as a star in APC and one of the respected member began to sing a new song, calling Ortom names.
The APC chairman said that investigation has revealed that Ortom was among the perpetrators of killings of his own clans and that he did so to claim some political capital.
He went further to say that about N20 billion was given to the state government but Ortom could not even pay workers’ salaries. Oshiomhole explained that Ortom was a bad product for APC and would have lost if he contested for the second term on the platform of the party.
Samuel, whom Oshiomhole described as a star suddenly became a fading cloud within the spate of a week.