The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has warned a former Local Government Area Chairman in the state, Joseph Asawa not to drag him into any case in an attempt to seek favour from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Ortom, who has since distanced himself from Atiku’s presidential campaign, was responding to an allegation from Joseph Asawa that he (the governor) sent thugs after him during a recent political rally to flag off the Benue North West Senatorial campaign rally in Gboko.
Joseph Asawa, a former Chairman of Ushongo local government area had accused the Governor of sending thugs after him to manhandle him and other supporters of Atiku.
But Governor Ortom, in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur denied such moves and warned the ex-chairman against dropping his name in order to secure the favour or sympathy of Atiku.
The Benue Governor denied claims by Asawa that “Atiku Abubakar supporters were targeted for assault and alleged that the Governor sponsored youths who allegedly manhandled him.”
The statement added that Asawa’s claim is “false, misleading, and a calculated attempt by the former Council Chairman to use the name of the Governor and win cheap sympathy from the Atiku Abubakar camp.
“Governor Ortom could not have condescended so low to direct his supporters to molest anyone at the Gboko rally as violence has never been part of his style of politics.
“Governor Ortom has never used thugs either during elections or at any other time and so does not patronise them, contrary to the claims by the former council chairman.
“From the outbursts of Hon Asawa, it is obvious that he wants to take advantage of the call for fairness and equity by the G-5 Governors which Governor Ortom is a member to be recognized by the camp of the presidential candidate of our party.”