A group, Coalition of Patriotic Idoma, Tiv, and Igede Youths in Nigeria (COPITIYN) has responded to a publication credited to a group, Tiv Youth Council Worldwide, describing it as malicious and mischievous.
The group in a statement obtained by TMS News signed by its National President, Comrade Aondona Tersoo, and its National publicity secretary Elijah Adamu said it is laughable for a group that does not reside in Benue and does not understand the yearnings of the people of Benue state to assume such a fallacious position.
COPITIYN said Governor Ortom has been a great leader to the people of Benue through thick and thin and deserves commendation instead of condemnation. It also said that even though the state like every other state in the country is struggling to meet certain financial obligations including pensions, it would be unfair to say that Governor Ortom has underperformed.
The statement reads in part;
“There is no state in Nigeria today that is not struggling financially including the more economically viable states. We want to state categorically that Ortom inherited backlogs of pensions from his predecessor.
“Ortom also inherited a state where insecurity has been the order of the day since 2015, this has negatively impacted the states’ meager resources as help hasn’t been forthcoming from Abuja to deal with the security challenges.
The group further said that only the living has the capacity to enjoy pensions.
“You need to be alive to enjoy pensions, those who have been killed by the terrorists ravaging our dear state cannot talk about pensions.
“Being alive is the primary thing and that is what Ortom has been working hard to ensure since he assumed office in 2015. Tersoo said.
While the group said it is not in support of pensioners who have served the state diligently being owed, it also questioned the sincerity of the Tiv Youth Council Worldwide, saying such a group is either not in touch with the existential reality in Benue or is just being economical with the truth.
“Where was the Tiv Youth Council Worldwide when Benue citizens were been massacred in large numbers? Why didn’t they lend their voice against the killings? Where were they when our leader, Governor Ortom narrowly escaped assassination?
“Their resurfacing at this time is clearly political and not in the interest of the Benue people.
COPITIYN also said that neither governor Ortom nor the Benue People have any problems living with peace-loving Fulani but that they have a problem with AK-47 wielding Fulani mercenaries who regularly attack communities in the state.
“We do not hate the Fulani, we have lived with some of them for many years peacefully and we appreciate their contribution to Benue state.
“We do have a problem with the Fulani mercenaries whose only desire is to cause tears, blood, and sorrow in Benue.” He said.
On the allegation that Ortom is obsessed with Buhari.
The group said the governor has the right to call out President Muhammadu Buhari if he deems it necessary, over his poor handling of the security situation in Benue and the general state of the nation Nigeria.
It also warned the Tiv Youth Council Worldwide to desist from making an inflammatory utterances that would further endanger the lives and properties of Benue citizens and other Nigerians.