Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has berated Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State for calling his Bauchi State counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed, a “terrorist”.
Naija News reports that governor Ortom had on Monday condemned his colleague for saying that he was responsible for creating a “negative perception of Fulani herders”.
Addressing reporters in Makurdi, Ortom said he did not want to join issues with his Bauchi counterpart but was forced to reply after blackmailing him.
Ortom had 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.
“I am beginning to think that my brother the Bauchi Governor is part of the Fulani terrorist organisation that is unleashing mayhem in this country.
“Of course he justified his position that Fulani herdsmen should carry AK-47 to protect themselves. I do not know where the Constitution of this country allows any man or woman who is not licensed by security agencies to carry even Dane guns not to talk of automatic rifles like AK-47.”
But in a series of tweets via his Twitter page on Monday evening, Fani-Kayode described the statements made by Ortom as uncharitable, unacceptable, and erroneous.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain advised the Benue governor to be circumspect in his statements going forward.
He wrote, “We must choose our battles wisely & know who our real enemies are. I have disagreed with my friend and brother Gov. Bala Mohammed on several occasions over the years and I do not share his views on a number of issues but to describe him as a terrorist is uncharitable and absurd.
“This is a man who stands up for Southerners, Middle Belters and Christians as much as he stands up for Northern Muslims. It is fair to say that had it not been for his efforts President Goodluck Jonathan may not have become President after President Yar’Adua died.
“His role in the Senate at that time in ensuring that the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was declared Acting President was exemplary and inspiring.
“Bala may sometimes say things that many in the South disagree with but his spirit is clean and his mind is pure.
“He is not a racist, a religious bigot, or a hegemonist and supremacist. He is not the one that leads a state in which Christians are being slaughtered or that ethnic minorities are being marginalised, humiliated and destroyed.
“If you are looking for a terrorist Governor I can name one or two but Bala is not amongst them. He is a leading member of the PDP Ministers Forum, a group which I belong to, and I assure anyone that cares to listen that he is far more comfortable with indulging in an intellectual joust in which we can agree to disagree than in carrying guns, throwing bombs and killing people.
“It would serve our interest better if we learnt to separate the wheat from the chaff and stop demonising people simply because they do not share our views.
“To call Bala a terrorist is unacceptable and erroneous. I doubt that has ever killed a chicken let alone a human being.”