Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has claimed that the Presidentialspokesman, Garba Shehu, is “under the influence of some negative substances”.

The Governor made this known in a statement on Thursday signed by his Media Aide, Terver Akase while reacting to the Presidency’s response to his earlier comment.

Ortom stated that the Presidency has never hidden its hatred for him and the people of Benue, saying that Shehu’s response only confirms that fact.

The Governor berated the Presidency for failing to address the issues he raised in his earlier statement and attacking his personality.

Ortom, however, demanded an apology from the Presidency for accusing him of stirring ethnic tensions and calling for genocide.

The statement reads: “We read the statement released by the Presidency in response to Governor Samuel Ortom’s recent interview on Channels Television in which he raised a number of concerns bordering on the worsening security situation across the country.

“The tone of the said statement shows the quality of Presidency Nigeria currently has. They abandoned the message and went for the messenger.

“To describe as ‘undistinguished’, the career of a man who has held many key positions at the State and National levels proves that those who penned the piece were under the influence of some negative substances.

“For the information of Garba Shehu and his cohorts, Governor Ortom rose to become a Local Government Chairman, State Publicity Secretary of National Centre Party of Nigeria; State Treasurer of All People’s Party, State Secretary as well as State Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Auditor of PDP, Minister of the Federal Republic and now a two-term Governor.

“The Governor spoke the minds of most Nigerians on specific areas of failure of the Presidency and its complicity in the heinous crimes committed against citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists. Instead of taking the Governor on those points, Shehu went chasing vain and mundane matters in a desperate attempt to malign the Governor.

“We demand an apology from the Presidency for accusing Governor Ortom of stirring ethnic tensions and calling for genocide. The Presidency has never hidden its hatred for the Governor and its latest outing only confirms that fact.”

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