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Governors take fools’ ride to next level
By Azu Ishiekwene
If there was any doubt that governors are underworked and overpaid, this week proved it. This is not the old, familiar sitting governor versus godfather nasty fight. It’s a brawl mostly among serving governors of the same party and even the same region, who have no qualms airing their dirty laundry as entertainment.
What started as a sitcom starring Benue Governor Samuel Ortom and his Bauchi counterpart Bala Mohammed in a bizarre farmer-herdsmen exchange, later zig-zagged, morphed and swept across the country in an expanded theatre of the absurd.
At least four other governors have now been engulfed in the flame. Ortom set the stage in a no-holds-barred video in which he called out President Muhammadu Buhari for being “soft” on herdsmen and bandits. He accused the leadership of the association of cattle herders, Myetti Allah, of enabling and arming criminal herdsmen with automatic weapons, while the Presidency turns a blind eye.
Ortom show As of Wednesday, the Ortom video had received 65,000 views, with a trail of vitriolic comments on both sides, long enough to strangle a herd of trespassing cattle. Mohammed responded that Ortom was incompetent and irresponsible. He said if the Benue governor had done his homework, he would have found that some of the Fulani herdsmen were also victims and only carried weapons to protect themselves from cattle rustlers.
Short of accusing Ortom of intolerance, he asked the governor to find a place in his heart for persons from other parts of the country, the same way Benue people are welcome in Bauchi. As Mohammed was counting his teeth after his bizarre and twisted patronage of armed herdsmen, which a) ignored rampant cases of violent trespass and b) source of the automatic weapons and the legality of their use, the proverbial old woman in Ortom knew that Mohammed’s gesture was aimed at him.
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