Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, says the 25 buses he donated to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign in Benue state were part of the bulk of vehicles he acquired for his presidential campaign.
The Rivers State Governor spoke at the new Banquet Hall of Benue State Government House, Makurdi, during a dinner on Sunday night organised in honour of the G5 governors by Governor Samuel Ortom.
Wike said that since his presidential ambition did not materialise, the team decided that the vehicles should be shared among those who supported the course.
“So, Ortom saying I gave you people vehicles, it is not correct. They are the vehicles that our team bought that time because of the (presidential primary) election, we would have won it, but to God be the glory,” he said.
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Governor Wike said they were in Benue State to show solidarity with Governor Ortom whom he described as a good man. The Rivers State governor thanked the government and people of Benue for bestowing on them the honourary citizen’s status of the State.
He said the G5 constitutes a people who have shown leadership in their various states, and on issues of national concern, taken the risk to speak the truth, maintained integrity, and are consistent.
“I thank all of you for this honour you’ve done to all of us, the integrity governors. The governors who can come up and tell you black is black, yes is yes. We don’t bend; we say it as it is,” Wike said. “Leadership is taking risks. Leadership is about integrity and discipline.”
“Governor Ortom, what we have come here to do today is to give you solidarity for tomorrow’s (Monday) campaign, to tell the people of Benue, we are with Governor Ortom,” the former minister said.
In his speech, the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom acknowledged that as an Eagle of Tiv land, Governor Wike was the first to stand by them, spoke truth to power, and gave support when the bandits killed Benue people.
“Many have wondered why I have chosen to swim with Governor Wike. Many have wondered why I have chosen to work with him in darkness and in the midst of storms and threats and also trial and brimstone,” Ortom said.
“This is a man who stood with us during our trying times and came out, did not fear threats of the Federal Government or federal might, but came out and say look, if you kill Ortom, you have killed Nigeria.
“They call it farmers /herders fight. We say it’s all lies, Fulani is coming to invade us. Wike came out, brought stakeholders from Rivers State and they came here. Wike offered us solidarity and faith with the Benue people and give his commitment.”
Governor Ortom revealed the monetary support that Governor Wike gave was a demonstration of his love for Benue people.
“As if that was going to be the end, he (Wike) committed money, then it was N250 million. I remember High-Level Main Market got burnt, Governor Wike heard about it, we did not make any demand, and Governor Wike came and donated N200 million.
“I remember when Katsina Ala Market got burnt, Governor Wike came and donated another N200 million. Subsequently, the money he has committed is over N700 million for our IDPs. Is he not a friend enough that we should work with?
“We have never had it good. He was the same person who was able to convince our colleague and brother from Akwa-Ibom State who also donated N200 million. Then the governor of Taraba State donated N100 million to our IDPs.”