By Chuks Okocha
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has waded into the war of words between the Governors of Benue and Bauchi States, Samuel Ortom and Bala Mohammed.
Ortom had raised the alarm, accusing Mohammed of profiling him for possible assassination by armed Fulani herders, as he contended that by repeatedly accusing him (Ortom) of instigating hatred against armed herders in the country, the Bauchi state governor was putting his life in danger.
Ortom, who spoke in Makurdi while reacting to the recent media outburst by Mohammed, also alleged that the Bauchi State governor’s unrelenting support for herders to carry AK-47 riffles for self-defence clearly indicated that the governor was supporting the mindless killing of Nigerians by armed herders.
The Benue State governor, who also said he did not want to join issue with his Bauchi State counterpart, however, said: “Since he has chosen to continue to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me, and since it is said that silence is consent, I am compelled to respond.”
Governor Mohammed of Bauchi State last week explained the comment he made about Fulani herdsmen carrying AK-47 rifles for self defence in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on media, Mr Mukhtar Gidado.
He said the primary objective of his comment was to avert the dangerous prospect of a nation-wide backlash and generalisation of the Fulani people as criminals.
Announcing the party’s intervention in the war of words between the governors, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan assured Nigerians that it has waded into the rift between Ortom and Muhammed.
The PDP called for calm as the internal reconciliation mechanism introduced by the hierarchy of the party between the two governors subsists.
The party, however, urged the federal government to take urgent steps to address the escalated security challenges in the country