​Ortom blast El-rufai, warns him to stay off Benue affairs

By Victor Habila

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has warned Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to deal with the insecurity ravaging his state before interferring in the affairs of other States in the country.

In a statement on Saturday issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Terver Akase, Ortom accused El-Rufai of misleading President Muhammadu Buhari on issues of insecurity rocking Nigeria.
This came as a response to an earlier position by El-Rufai who accused Gov. Ortom of blaming the federal government for insecurity in Benue as a way to cover up his own leadership failures.

However, Ortom in his reply said El-Rufai has no moral justification to talk about how to curb insecurity, accusing him of causing problems for his own people in Kaduna State.

He added that the Kaduna State Governor is only painting him in a bad light to score cheap political points with the Aso Rock Villa.

The Benue Governor accused El-Rufai of being a religious bigot and sycophant.

According to the statement : “We want to believe that El-Rufai was wrongly quoted. A man who has failed in several aspects as Governor of Kaduna has no moral justification to accuse another Governor.

“A Governor who has divided the good people of Kaduna against one another by not hiding his hatred of indigenes of the state on account of religion and ethnicity is not qualified to judge another Governor on any issue whatsoever. A Governor who chose a Muslim deputy in a state where Christians have a huge population is certainly not one to preach unity and peaceful co-existence.

“El-Rufai’s attack on Governor Ortom is merely to make him look good before the Presidency. He has apparently fallen out of favour at the Villa and wants to use Governor Ortom as a launch pad back to reckoning. How has he handled his own problems in Kaduna? This is a man who has insulted almost every prominent Nigerian including the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Olusegun Obasanjo; a man who is his former boss and one who brought him to limelight.

“Nigerians have not forgotten the unprintable things El-Rufai said during Goodluck Jonathan’s time as President. He insulted the then President and publicly supported terrorists attacking parts of the country. His statements on the abduction of Chibok girls and several other acts of terrorism are still fresh in our minds. El-Rufai is on record to have said repeatedly that Fulani people must retaliate any wrong done to them no matter how long it takes.

“Is Governor Ortom responsible for El-Rufai’s inability to ensure peace in Kaduna State where bandits have taken over some communities while kidnappings and killings occur on a daily basis?

‘El-Rufai admitted to paying Fulani herdsmen whom he invited from other West African countries in the name of stopping attacks in Southern Kaduna. Since he made the confessional statement, attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna have escalated. This is why he wants men of good conscience like Governor Ortom to be silent to pave the way for the conquest and expansion agenda to succeed.

Ortom also said kidnapping has become a common crime in Kaduna State under the watch of  El-rufai.

“Aside from the much celebrated cases, it has been estimated that at every given time, not less than 300 persons are abducted in Kaduna by kidnappers who are always identified as El-Rufai’s kinsmen. He pays them billions to embolden them. He has turned the state into one of the most unsafe places to live in Nigeria today.

“Talking about taking someone seriously, if other Nigerians take El-Rufai seriously, we in Benue do not do the same. A man who has no regard for humanity does not deserve our attention.

“Nasir el-Rufai is a sycophant, ethnic champion and religious bigot who hates anyone who does not share the same faith with him. He is among the very few persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari. El-Rufai is one of the real enemies of this country who do not hide their divisive tendencies by elevating nepotism and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades.

“Nasir el-Rufai doesn’t possess the credentials to counsel anyone on payment of salaries and the welfare of workers. This is a Governor who recently sacked 4,000 workers for no just cause. He ought to be ashamed of himself. What happened to the lofty promises he made to the Kaduna people in 2015?

“The Kaduna Governor should know that only two days ago, the people of Benue State met at a stakeholders meeting in Makurdi and unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ortom in recognition of his performance. That meeting was attended across party lines with leaders of All Progressives Congress, APC also present.

“El-Rufai and his conspirators must note that Benue State will not repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, no matter the amount of blackmail, hatred and threats they wage against Governor Ortom.

“We advise the Kaduna State Governor to focus on addressing the numerous problems he has created in his state and leave Governor Ortom to lead Benue in peace”, He said.

Afaka: I Lost My Pregnancy In Captivity – Freed Student

One of the freed students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, has narrated how she lost her pregnancy in captivity.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust, Fatima Ibrahim Shamaki said she was two months pregnant when she and other students were abducted from the college dormitories on March 11, 2021.

Fatima, who reunited with her husband at the college premises, said she lost the pregnancy due to the stress she and others endured in captivity.

She, however, said the bandits never knew she was pregnant, though they constantly asked who among the female students was pregnant.

The freed student said she hid her condition for fear that they may harm her.

“I was scared because anytime some of us say we are ill, they will imply that they will just ‘finish’ the person. So I felt knowing my condition, they may decide to harm me.”

I relied on my fellow female students to help me during the period. We all helped one another even during the monthly cycle, we would tear out our wrappers to help one another,” she said.

Fatima who also lost her father, Ibrahim Shamaki, while in captivity, said she was so ill in the forest that she fainted three times.

She said sometimes, the bandits gave them drugs such as Buscopan to relieve stomach cramps.

Narrating their ordeal in the hands of their abductors, she said they trekked in the deep forest for many hours, and had their locations changed about four times, and were constantly tortured.

She, however, said none of the female students was sexually assaulted.

“While we were in the forest, we slept in the open; under trees and we saw a lot of monkeys and hyenas, there were cattle too but they belonged to the bandits,” she said.

In another version of the story also some of the students narrates their ordeal as, We Didn’t Bathe For 56 Days In Kidnappers’ Den,

Zakariya in her statement noted that she would never wish for her enemy to go through what she experienced.

“The bandits need prayers. All that we have to do is to pray for them for God to touch their hearts. As for me, I have forgiven them for whatever we went through in their hands. The experience was hell.”

Another student identified as, Sarah Sunday, said she and her colleagues were subjected to all sorts of dehumanising conditions, including not being allowed to take a bath while in the bandits’ den.

Sunday said, “A lot of things happened while we were there. We were subjected to hunger. We were subjected to trekking and all sorts of dehumanising experiences. We were insulted but thankfully, they did not molest or kill any of us. They only beat us on the first day when they did a video of us.”

Asked if they were fed at all, Sunday said, “The boys used to go and fetch water for us to cook. We cooked tuwo with miyan Kuka, and tuwo with dry okra. We only cooked rice once, and we cooked spaghetti once too.”

When asked whether the abductors used to leave them to go out for other operations, Sarah said, “Yes, they used to go out, but they always left some of their armed members to stay with us.

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“Even our male colleagues who used to go and fetch water were always escorted to the stream by gang members bearing AK-47 rifles.

“Our living condition in the jungle was very bad. We never had a bath. We were exposed to the rain. Although there was a hut that we always ran to hide whenever it was raining, still there was no escaping the rain because the hut was poorly built. But we have forgiven our kidnappers. And we pray that God will give them the chance to change for the better.”

Source: News Balance