A former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, Sunday, visited Benue State and donated the sum of N50 million to cater for the wellbeing of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) scattered across the state.
Atiku, alongside his campaign team, who was received at the Government House in Makurdi by Governor Samuel Ortom, explained that he was unable to visit the state in its trying times occasioned by the invasion of suspected armed herders because he was out of the country for further studies.
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He said the donation of N50 million for the upkeep of the IDPs would help to ameliorate their sufferings at the various camps in the state.
The former vice president also told Governor Ortom that he had issues with the way the entire Fulani race was profiled in the course of the crisis as violent people but admitted that he had reconciled the matter with him (Ortom) for the clarifications he had made earlier.
Atiku, however, in response to questions from journalists dismissed insinuations that he was silent during the crisis because according to him, he had issued a number of press statements while away condemning the invasion.
Earlier, Governor Ortom told the former vice president that people of the state were not happy with him for abandoning them during their trying times.
He emphasised that as the holder of one of the highest chieftaincy titles in the Tiv Area Traditional Council, the ‘Zege Mule U Tiv,’ (meaning the big shelter of the Tiv nation), the people were not happy that the presidential aspirant didn’t visit the state or send relief materials when it came under siege by the militia herders.
“Your visit to Benue as the ‘Zege Mule U Tiv’ is long overdue. But it’s better late than never.
“You are in your home and we are happy to receive you. But let me say here that our people were not happy that you didn’t visit when terrorists Fulani groups were attacking and killing the people in Benue,” the governor said.
Ortom further cleared the misconceptions that he referred to indigenous Fulani who he said had lived with his people just as he lamented that terrorists Fulani groups from foreign countries, including Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) are still terrorising the state and country without the Federal Government coming hard on them.
The governor, however, expressed confidence that for him, the success of the PDP at the 2023 elections remains critical above his personal interests, stressing that what the party needs now is to remain united in order to reclaim and salvage the country.
Meanwhile, Atiku and Ortom had a closed-door session that lasted about an hour.