By John Charles
Immediate-past governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, says former Vice President Atiku Abubakar lacks the moral grounds to accuse him of corruption after what former President Olusegun Obasanjo had written about him (Atiku).
Ortom also described Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last general elections, as the first presidential candidate in the country to be rejected by key party stakeholders.
The ex-Benue governor was reacting to a statement by Atiku’s media aide, Phrank Shaibu, accusing him and other G-5 governors of seeking favours from the ruling All Progressives Congress to evade prosecution.
Atiku’s aide had also declared that “Ortom was one of the worst governors in the history of Nigeria. His case file at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is bulky, and he was recently invited but released because of Wike’s intervention.”
Responding, Ortom said, “Atiku is angry because Governor Ortom and his colleagues in the G-5 refused to be used by him as ‘Special Purpose Vehicles’ to circumvent and thwart the resolve of Nigerians to produce a President from the southern region.
“The former Vice President’s diatribe against Ortom can therefore be understood as the manifestation of frustration for losing the 2023 elections. His failure to humble himself and unite the PDP, opting to remain haughty even when the signals were clear that he was heading for defeat, summarised his performance in the last election.
“Atiku lacks the moral ground to accuse anyone else of corruption. The words of his erstwhile principal, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who described him as a very corrupt man, have remained indelible and incontrovertible.”
Admitting that he honoured the anti graft invitation, Ortom said, “The role of anti-graft agencies is to investigate allegations of corruption. Whenever they invite someone, such a person has to honour the invitation. As a man who believes in the rule of law, Ortom willingly visited the EFCC when the commission sought clarifications on the actions of his administration.”