Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos
Abba Moro, the former Minister of Interior, has a deep-seated animosity against the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom. Since Ortom was denied the state’s governorship ticket by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and jumped ship to bag the ticket from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and won the election, he became a target of attacks by Moro.
Moro has since then continued to pummel Ortom at any given opportunity, calling Ortom a non-performer, corrupt and a liar.
But, Ortom has continued to tell the world that his predecessor and Moro’s associate, Gabriel Suswam, left a deficit treasury and bagful of debts, including salary arrears.
In Ortom’s efforts to pay workers and tackle some infrastructural problems, Moro’s camp accuse the governor of embezzling the bail-out funds.
Moro’s attacks are surprising as his co-traveller, Suswam, has since declared a ceasefire with the incumbent.
Now, Moro is irked by Ortom’s probable desire for second term, a vision which he said saddens him, describing it as a “smack of mediocrity.”
Moro declared publicly that Ortom does not deserve a second term. He said: “It saddens me always when I hear my governor, Samuel Ortom, talk of a second term when I am sure he has not been able to even convince himself that he has creditably discharged the mandate given him by the people in his first term in office.
“It smacks of mediocrity and political naivety to even begin to talk of a second term in the midterm of a first term.” Moro pretends to be unaware that most first term governors, like Ortom, has put their 2019 second term dreams on top burner in most states.
Moro said: “Schools are on permanent holiday, no thanks to strikes by teachers occasioned by non-payment of salaries and allowances and infrastructures are in serious state of decay. Yet, all that we hear from Governor Ortom day in, day out is the vaulting crave for a second term, even when there are clear evidences of crash mismanagement of a first term on his lap due to inept leadership.”
However, Ortom is not taking Moro’s attack lightly. Responding through Tever Akase, his media aide, he said his traducer, “Moro, lacks the moral justification to describe the Ortom administration as failure.” He also insinuated that Moro has “a questionable history of public service.”
Observers are disturbed over Moro’s frequent attacks on Ortom and the effects they have on Benue indigenes. They also point at Moro’s records as a minister. Analysts look at the alleged job racketeering at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). They also point at unimaginable waste of Nigerians’ lives during the ill-fated recruitment into the National Immigration Service (NIS).
Analysts worry that Moro seems unaware of the popular adage that he who lives in a glass house should be careful when throwing stones.