The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday described as “laughable’’ trending speculation that suggested that he was a wizard.
Mr Ortom said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day Governor’s Retreat for Benue Government Appointees in Makurdi, the state capital.
The governor noted that he became a child of God after becoming a born- again Christian in 1979, adding that: “since then I have professed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.’’
He, therefore, said the insinuations making around claiming he was head of wizards in Benue remained a “fallacy and laughable’’.
Mr Ortom also said such suggestion was a misrepresentation of his Christian faith, adding that there was no reason for people to doubt his religious belief.
“I was surprised that at a burial some people even made attempt to stop me from quoting the Holy Bible during my speech.
“I heard some people saying Ortom is the leader of wizards in Benue but it is not true, I am a child of God.
“I became born again in 1979 and since then God has been grateful to me.
“I was at a burial somewhere and people accused me of using Bible to do witchcraft. They said I should not be allowed to quote the Bible that if I did the people will become speechless’’, Mr Ortom said.
The governor said no human being makes him governor as God alone anoints him Benue governor as far back as 1992’’, he said.
He said God went on to perfect His plan for him by fulfilling His prophecy in 2015.
Mr Ortom explained that he had experienced numerous challenges and faced persecution before eventually becoming the governor.
He further said but for God’s intervention he would have given up on his governorship in 2017 as a result of plethora of difficult administrative challenges.
“In 2017, I almost gave up and decided that I will be a one term governor and not contest again, but God again said otherwise.
“God told me that those castigating me will be those who will work for my re-election and here we are today in my second term.
“This government is not that type that won elections because of good deeds; god-fatherism, federal might, but because of the will of God.
“No one in Benue and Nigeria can boost that he or she made Ortom governor’’, he said.
The governor further explained that God had used him to cement many people’s election in the past in the state.
Mr Ortom said in a bid to prosecute him further, his Chief of Staff, Terwase Orbunde and Special Adviser on Development Corporation, SDGs and NEPAD, Magdalene Dura, were arrested by EFCC for alleged missing N4.7 billion but that they were vindicated.
He, therefore, urged the appointees to be steadfast, dedicated to their responsibilities and stay away from anything that would make anti- graft agencies come after them.
“Protect yourselves now, avoid corruption because I would not defend anyone found short-changing the government’’, he said.
This was the second retreat for government appointees in Benue within the week.