The Presidency, Sunday, warned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to stop what it described as campaign of falsehood against President Muhammadu Buhari in his re-election bid.
The Presidency specifically said the anti-open grazing law in Benue State would have not succeeded without the backing of the federal government.
Besides, it charged Benue people to ask the governor why he allegedly refused to pay workers salaries and pensions and what he did with the money from the Excess Crude Account, ECA.
The Presidency in a statement signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, accused Governor Ortom of going round to churches in the state, alleging how President Buhari has planned his islamization agenda.
The statement read: “The Presidency calls on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to desist from basing his campaign for re-election on falsehoods concerning President Muhammadu Buhari and instead focus on the dire issues confronting the state.
“Governor Ortom’s campaign is clearly one designed to stir division and hatred, and to divert the people’s attention from his inability to pay staff salaries and pensions for several months.
“It has been noted that the governor has been visiting churches in the state where he falsely tells congregations about President Buhari’s so-called plans to Islamise Benue State.
“This nonsense has formed the basis of his campaign, because he has nothing to offer Benue people.
“The allegations coming from Ortom were particularly unfair, when one considers how much support the governor received from the Federal Government, which supported his grazing laws as a means to end the farmer-herder crises that have plagued the state.”
Noting the role of the President for the success of the anti open grazing law, the Presidency said, “If not for President Buhari’s insistence that the governor be given a chance to effect the law, he would have faced resistance from different sources and found it difficult to implement.”
While advising Ortom to immediately stop his alleged “dubious attacks” on President Buhari, the Federal Government called on the people of Benue State to not fall for the governor’s “deception” and allow themselves to be hoodwinked by such a negative campaign.
“They should instead, ask him why he has refused to pay staff salaries and pensions for months, and what he did with the funding from the excess crude account which should ideally have gone towards addressing such payments,” the statement added.