We advised Buhari not to rush back home, says Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Denies importing snakes

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that the seven governors who visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London last week advised him not to rush back to the country.

Ortom, who spoke with journalists on his return to Makurdi from his two weeks’ leave in the United States (U.S.), said that the President was recuperating fast and would return to Nigeria to resume work as soon as the doctors certify him fit.
“When we met the President, he was in high spirit and eager to return to Nigeria. We interfaced with him, crack jokes and he asked me about security situation in Benue and I told him it was better. 

“God has shamed those who wanted the President dead. The Bible said we should pray for our leaders. This life belongs to God. If your President is sick, it means the whole country is sick. May God forgive those saying unpalatable things about the President’s ill-health.”

Ortom, who also disclosed that he went through health challenges while in the United Kingdom (UK), said that the difference between life and death is slim; maintaining that only God determines the life of everyone. He enjoined all Nigerians not to mock or play with anyone with health or any other challenges as long as one lives.

The governor, who denied operating snakes’ farm or importing snakes into the country, said it is ridiculous and callous for somebody to associate him with snakes’ farming. He described the rumour as handwork of the opposition elements.

He stated that God gave him mandate 20 years ago to assist victims of snake-bite who cannot afford to treat themselves and that since then, he specifically established a foundation that caters for the poor and peasant farmers in the rural areas that are bitten by snakes and have no means to treat themselves.

He noted that over one million people had so far received free treatment in St. Theresa and Rahama hospitals for various degrees of snake bites.On the agitations by some Nigerians that the country should be restructured, Ortom wondered how people sometimes engage themselves in discussing no issue, stating that if such agitation is so keen, elected representatives at the National Assembly should take it up for discussion.

“But I think the people agitating for this restructuring do not even know what it means. They are people looking for cheap popularity,” he said.

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