The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said that Nigerians must fight to eliminate godfatherism, adding that only God will bring him back to office after 2019 election.
Ortom said this while revealing that he parted way with former Governor of the State, Senator George Akume, because he (Ortom) was not willing to ‘settle him’ with funds meant for state projects.
In an interview with Dailypost, the Governor admitted that all was not well between him and Akume, adding that they could not agree on basic things.
According to him, “The issue of governance, the issue of development, his style was not my style. You settle people, you settle him and all of that. I have also helped people in my political career over 30 years, I’ve helped people, but I have not been godfather to anyone, and nobody should be godfather to me. For the current democratic experience to work in Nigeria, we must eliminate godfatherism. Yes, it has to be eliminated.
“The fact that I support you today to be somewhere doesn’t mean that I should be your godfather and I don’t have any godfather in this world. My godfather is God Almighty and it is the same God that made me governor.
“The circumstances that I became governor in 2015 made everybody to testify. Several people came and said Ortom, this God you serve is true and we believed you. Because from day one when I came out contesting, I wrote on my poster that “In God we trust” and by the grace of God, I will be governor.
“I did not say that ‘in Akume I trust’ and ‘by the grace of Akume’ I will be governor. Nobody should play God to me and I told him this in the face; you cannot be a burden on me, the burden was too much. I have endured it for 3 years and cannot bear it any longer.
“In the end, it is my government, you have been governor before but 2015-2019, it’s Samuel Ortom. The people will hold me accountable and not you, so leave me alone and so that was the point of our departure.
“They were talking of non-performance and all of that, but you have seen some of these things yourself. In the midst of all the challenges, we have something to offer, we have put something on the table and the people appreciate it. So we don’t need to tell lies.
“We have to bring the truth to the people and the people appreciate it. It may interest you to know that the same people who are castigating me today were the same people who were there in the state congress of the APC and made me the so-called sole candidate of the party.
“It was me that said this is democracy, you cannot allow this impunity to continue. I fight for injustice, I want the right thing to be done. If I’m contesting under APC, allow me and allow others to also test the ground. The same people were on the table where they sang all praises on me for conducting myself well and providing for the people, but today, they say all kinds of things against me. Let’s test our popularity in 2019.”