The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) on Sunday acussed the Federal Government of hatching a sinister plot against Benue State and its Governor, Samuel Ortom.
It said the plot was to aggravate the crisis in Benue, impose a state of emergency in the states with the intention to undermine the authority of Governor Ortom.
The MBF raised the alarm at the end of its extraordinary meeting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Sunday.
The forum declared its sport for Ortom in the face off between him and the Presidency recently.
The Presidency had recently accused Ortom of inciting a crisis and described him as incompetent after the governor, during an interview with the Channels Television, accused Buhari of plotting to Fulanise Nigeria.
But MBF said that the “vituperations of the presidency were all aimed at giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
The forum in a communique signed by its President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, and made available to newsmen on Monday, faulted the presidency’s allegation that Ortom is incompetent, describing it as a compromise on the part of the federal government on the issues of insecurity and appointments among others.
The communique read, “After a careful review of the interview and the 10-paragraph response issued by the presidential spokesman, the Forum is shocked at the twaddle response issued by the presidency,
“It is irrefutable that while the Benue State Governor came out speaking truth to those living in self-denial, we find it incompressible and strange on why Mr. Garba Shehu refused to speak on issues raised by the governor but resorted to accusing Dr. Ortom of attempting to incite genocidal attacks against the Fulani.
“It is either the presidential spokesman is incapable of comprehending the content of the interview or he was simply being simply mischievous or both.
“When Mr. Shehu described Governor Ortom as an instigator of genocidal attacks, he was simply attempting to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
Accusing the federal government of a plot to instigate a crisis in Benue State in order to declare a state of emergency in the state, the MBF said it was against the alleged plot because it would end up causing unprecedented violence in the state.
“For Governor Ortom whose political path has been symbolised as a metaphor for astuteness and deft political moves, he has emerged as the voice of the voiceless and one whose struggle is predicated on the enthronement of equity and justice for ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, especially, in the Middle Belt region,” MBF added.