Former Gabriel Suswam has dismissed his successor, Samuel Ortom, of lacking in wisdom and the capacity to govern Benue State.
The ex-governor lambasted his successor stressing that his lack of wisdom is exemplified by his resort to blame every failure of his administration on his predecessor.
Suswam, who failed in his bid to win a senatorial seat, described Ortom’s mindset and approach to administrative matters as lacking in veracity and wisdom, and urged the people to note the number of times the governor has resorted to endless accusations just to divert the attention of the people from his own activities and lack of performance so far in office.
“Is it really true that as Governor of Benue State, I, Gabriel Suswam, did arm youths in the state with dangerous weapons and encouraged them to perpetrate violence and commit crimes, as Ortom is accusing me? It is on record that I am not a violent person and I abhor violence in whatever guise, which Ortom knows.”
He dismissed allegation that he had “equipped” the youths in the state with arms to perpetrate violence during my tenure in office as governor of the state noting that it was the figment of Ortom’s imagination.
The statement quotes Governor Ortom as alleging that his administration has recovered over 600 assorted weapons, which I had given to the youths from over 800 of them, who surrendered during the Amnesty Programme, and that I and my cohorts believed in violence and could take everything by force.
“I am aware it has become obvious to the people of Benue State and even beyond that throwing accusations at me has not only become a favourite pastime of Governor Ortom, it is also a cardinal lynch-pin of his administration’s policy drive.
However, this mindset and approach of my successor, Governor Ortom, is lacking in veracity and wisdom, considering that the people of the state are neither blind nor are they deaf that they cannot see and hear well enough to know if the governor is telling the truth in his endless accusations against me, or merely trying to create a smoke-screen to divert the attention of the people from his own activities and performance so far in office.
“A retrospective look at my political trajectory is very clear that no violent activity was perpetrated or could be traced to me unlike the records of my accusers and traducers as their kinsmen can attest to.
“Were security a sector one could score 100 per cent I would have scored that as governor, but that is a record that is globally being sought for,” he said alleging that the present governor could not be exonerated from blame for the incessant cases of violence in the state.
He recalled that when Fulani herdsmen and their militia descended on parts of the state visiting death and destruction on whole villages and communities, his administration acted with a “carefully thought out framework and strategy was able to curb the menace and the peace and security status of the state and its socio-economic stability and equilibrium were not adversely affected.
He described Ortom’s Amnesty Programme as a sham adding that with top officials of his administration are being accused of involvement in crimes under the guise of the purported programme.
Further, he claimed that Ortom is not in control of the security apparatus of the state, stressing that certain individuals and persons with vested interests have operated without due regard to law and therefore their action reflects a bigger security menace than could be imagined in a modern society.
“He is desperately in need of something to divert the attention of the world away from non-performance and the serial scandals rocking his administration, from assassinations within his kitchen cabinet to, according to ICPC, embezzlement of workers’ salaries and loans, to lately, indictment of his regime by anti-corruption agencies, and the arrest and detention of government functionaries and his cohorts by the EFCC on charges of fraud,” the former governor said adding that he left Benue in a healthy state.
“Performance is needed to endear you to the people; blame-game can only buy you time. Once more, Ortom, roll up your sleeves and go to work,” he concluded.

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