Social critic, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav has slammed the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, for ceding part of Agatu land to Fulani herdsmen who have killed 3,920 Agatu indigenes in the last four years to graze their cattle.
Tsav, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, told newsmen at his residence in Makurdi yesterday that he was disappointed at the governorn, who reportedly said he was hypnotised by his Nasarawa State counterpart, Umaru Tanko Almakura, to arrive at the peace pact which culminated in the ceding of some areas in Agatu to the herdsmen.
However, the state government had earlier debunked the insinuation that the governor ceded lands belonging to the people of Agatu to Fulani herdsmen.
According to the chief press secretary to the governor, Terver Akase, the governor neither ceded land to herdsmen nor conferred indegenship on any individual or group of persons, adding that the decision to allow herdsmen to graze cattle in designated areas in Agatu was jointly made by stakeholders in the two communities, and that Agatu and Fulani herdsmen had lived together for many decades both in Benue and Nasarawa communities.
Notwithstanding, Tsav who said the governor had disappointed those who propped him up for the plum job, said, “Gov Ortom ceded Agatu land deliberately to spite Idomas because he has severally accused Idomas of not voting for him. Why must he hold this against the Idomas? A person who believes in God would not do that, except a hypocrite.
“Whether people voted you or not you are already the governor, why do you take it against them since in your oath of office, you promised to do justice to all manner of people?
“The man is unfit; the man is a failure. The man is confused and is taking us 50 years backward. He is completely empty and has employed empty folks as his aides.
“The success or failure of a leader depends on the kind of people he or she surrounds themselves with. Gov Ortom has surrounded himself with praise- singers and idle minds.”
He explained that while Governor Al-Makura was beaming with confidence, showing Governor Ortom the crisis areas from the map he took to Agatu, his Benue State counterpart appeared defeated.
“The appearance and demeanour of Gov Ortom before Al-Makura in Agatu depicted that of master and servant. Our own Governor Ortom was devastated by inferiority complex and looked defeated. Benue State had never had it so badly.”
On the backlog of salaries and benefits owed civil servants and pensioners in the state after assessing refund from Swiss and London Clubs, beside statutory allocations from the federation account, Tsav said the situation was encouraged by the acquiescence of the leaders in the state whom he said their lips had been sealed with their interest in getting their cut from the state purse.