Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has apologised for his comments on Fulani herders and how they have been killing residents of the state.
He apologised on Wednesday when the G-5 paid a solidarity visit to the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.
The G-5 are the five PDP governors who have vowed not to support Atiku’s presidential bid until the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, resigns and a balance is restored to the party’s leadership structure.
They are Mr Ortom, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
Mr Makinde was, however, absent from Wednesday’s meeting.
During the visit, Mr Ortom said what he was captured saying days ago, was not what he meant.
He was referring to an outburst on Sunday where he rejected the presidential bid of his party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The governor who belongs to the same party had said anyone who supports Atiku is an enemy of the state.
He had also declared that he would not support Atiku’s presidential bid because residents of the state are still being killed by Fulanis.
“To hell with Atiku and anyone supporting him. They should go and tell him. You want me to be a slave for a Fulani. It is better that I die. Anybody supporting Atiku is an enemy of Benue,” he said angrily.
“I will never support a Fulani man to become president. If there is another person who is ready to work with me and ensure the security of my people, I will work with him.”
But a solemn and apologetic Mr Ortom told supporters not to read meaning into his words.
“That was not what I meant,” he said. “It would amount to logical fallacy if people have taken it the way I did…to those who are offended, it was not what I meant, I’m sorry.”
Similarly, Mr Wike said the G-5 said they are ready for reconciliation and that they never closed the doors for it.
All they want, he said, is that the right thing is done and that the party abides by its mantra – equity, fairness and justice.
The governor described the G-5 as the bedrock of the party and as such, should be taken seriously.
It is not clear if Mr Ortom’s apology or Mr Wike’s invitation for reconciliation is directed at Atiku, the latter has, however, said he will move on with campaigns as planned.