Bala Mohammed and Samuel Ortom embrace
Mohammed, Ortom embrace as Wike, Fintri look on

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, brokered a reconciliation between Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom and his Bauchi State counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed in Port Harcourt.

The conflict was resolved following the intervention of Governor Wike and his Adamawa State counterpart, Governor Ahmed Fintiri.

Both governors had heated exchanges over Mohammed’s justification of Fulani herdsmen carrying AK-47 rifles.

Briefing journalists at the meeting, which held at Governor Wike’s private residence at Rumuepirikom, Governor Mohammed said the outburst between him and Governor Ortom over herders/Fulani profiling was regrettable.

He explained that he did not mean to divide the country by his comments, noting that the issues have now been resolved.

“We don’t mean to divide the country, to divide our people. We are still friends and brothers and that we will move forward because most of those issues are fully resolved,” he said.

“I want to seize this opportunity to tell Nigerians that whatever misconception that is there, that I and my brother Ortom are having problem or anybody in Nigeria is not true.

“What happened was just an explanation that emanated from a larger Governors’ Forum that we spoke on the security of the nation and we talked of the failure of security infrastructure which everybody knows is under the purview of the federal government,” he explained.

Also speaking, Ortom thanked Wike and Governor Fintiri for arranging the meeting, admitting that it was wrong to have such outbursts.

“We have accepted that it was wrong for us to have that kind of outburst that went out, but as from today, we have learnt. We are all fallible human beings and we are subject to mistakes and so when we make mistakes, it is a plus for us if we correct them,” he said.

“And I think moving forward, we shall live together. The Fulani and Tiv people have cohabitated for a long time and there is no issue whatsoever.

“As of today, there is no equity, there is no fairness, there is no justice in our country and that is why everywhere in Nigeria there are issues.

“So, we look forward that the Federal Government will partner with us. This time, we need not to talk about partisan politics. We must come together. We need not talk about ethnicity or religion. We must come together as brothers and sisters who have no other country than Nigeria, to work together towards a common cause that will solve the problem that we have.”

Wike on his part, thanked the governors for agreeing to put their differences aside.

“We give God the glory today that those difference have been sorted out,” he said. “We are members of one political party. Like what the Governor of Bauchi and Governor of Benue said, we don’t want the inefficiency, we don’t want the incapacity of the Federal Government in handling the issue of insecurity in the country to rub on us.

“Everybody knows that the Federal Government has failed in providing security for this country. And of course you will not blame them. They [Ortom and Mohammed] are under pressure from their various States. It is not as if they have any personal issue.”

Wike hinted that the All Progressives Congress was rejoicing that there was a disagreement between the governors of Benue and Bauchi States, but noted that the ruling party will be dissapointed now that the disagreement has been resolved.