Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, said on Friday in Makurdi that he had never accused the Catholic Church of ganging up against his administration.
Mr. Ortom, in a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Terver Akase, was reacting to a report circulated on the social and conventional media, which quoted him as making that remark.
The report had quoted Mr. Ortom as accusing Catholic Churches of planning to use their huge population to vote him out in 2019.
It further quoted Mr. Ortom as saying that he would mobilise other Christian denominations to neutralise the Catholic Churches and shame them by securing his second term bid.
But Mr. Ortom, who accused the opposition of spewing hatred against him, said he could not have made such remark against the Catholic Church or any other group in Benue.
“As a leader, who came in God’s name and was popularly elected by the people, the governor knows the role the Church played in his emergence and has remained in constant touch with all Christian denominations.
“The statement credited to him is a smear campaign by members of the opposition seeking to pit him against one of the biggest Churches in the land.
“We knew this could happen and had alerted the public to watch out for more sponsored campaigns from the opposition to smear the governor.
“The report is part of that grand design by failed politicians who, after being rejected by the people in the last general election, have vowed to make Benue ungovernable,” the statement said.
It said the aim was to malign the governor, and regretted “the gradual drift into the shameful abyss of hate scripts and comments against the person and office of the Governor”.
The statement urged members of the public to ignore the report, and challenged those circulating it to publish the evidence of where and when the governor made it. (NAN)