Two More Lives and Ortom Will Become a Cat: Last week in Ortomism, January 30th-February 5th, 2023
By Prof. Pita Agbese
There were interesting developments in the Ortom world in the week under review. For today’s column, I will highlight and discuss only one of these developments. Elections are around the corner. Ortom is a candidate for a senate seat. He has absolutely nothing to run on after he has run Benue with disastrous consequences for almost eight years. He cannot point to any concrete achievement for which voters should reward him with a new political office. His only recourse is to invoke the specter of Fulani land grabbers out to kill him and take over Benue. So, Ortom did just that. He called a press conference wherein he alleged that a Fulani group had poured poisonous calumny on him with intent to eliminate him. In the said press conference, Ortom imponderably claimed that he had survived seven assassination attempts on his life! Of course, the only one of these alleged assassination attempts that Ortom revealed was the infamous Tyo-Mu incident wherein Ortom incredibly supposedly outran bullets from fifteen “Fulani herders.” If Ortom had escaped death seven times in under eight years, he must hold the Guinness Book of World Records for surviving the most assassination attempts. I don’t think that even the great Fidel Castro of Cuba was a target of that high number of assassination attacks. Cats are said to have nine lives. So far, Ortom has had seven lives. Just two more lives and Ortom becomes a cat. Wonderful.
Apart from the eyebrow-raising claim that he had beaten death seven times, Ortom emphasized at his press conference that his would-be killers were after him for standing with his “people” to ensure that their lands were not taken away. This claim has been repeated so often by Ortom that it has become a canard. Who, exactly, are Ortom’s people that Ortom is supposedly ready to sacrifice his life to defend and to protect them? I know that Ortom’s genes are wired to tell great lies, but even for such an inveterate liar, this lie stinks into high heavens. Benue’s primary school teachers are certainly not Ortom’s people. Ortom has starved and impoverished them by refusing to pay them their salaries for 17 months. In effect, the last time Benue primary school teachers were paid salaries was in August 2021! We are already in the second month of 2023. This means that for the last four months of 2021, no Benue primary school teacher was paid a kobo in salaries. They entered 2022 without any salary and they ended 2022 without a single month of their salaries being paid. That’s 16 months of working without a single kobo by the end of 2022. That backlog has been brought forward to 2023 making it 17 months that Ortom did not think that Benue primary school teachers deserved their wages. Ortom has deployed all the arsenals and the paraphernalia of the governor’s office in a wicked war against helpless teachers. There is no way that Benue teachers count as Ortom’s “people.”
Benue’s retirees are certainly not among Ortom’s “people” for whom he is willing to lay down his life. Ortom has visited his venomous cruelty on pensioners in a vicious and sadistic manner. Even pensioners on a meager pensions’ benefits of only 20,000 Naira a month have not seen a single Naira since October 2021. Pensioners are frail of health. Many are afflicted with debilitating diseases of old age. They are supposed to be on drugs. To buy drugs, they need money. Would Ortom’s hard heart soften just a little bit for this most vulnerable segment of the Benue population? Of course, not. Yet, Ortom would add insult to the injuries he has consistently inflicted on these people by lying that he was ready to die for them. What a shameless and deceitful liar Ortom is.
Could Benue’s civil servants be among Ortom’s “people”? Certainly not, unless one counts a deliberate refusal to pay one’s people salaries and wages for months on end as an act of peoplehood.
What about Benue’s tertiary education students? Are they Ortom’s “people.” Absolutely not. Not only has the Ortom administration raised their school fees, it does not award scholarships to defray the costs of education. Despite the teeming number of applicants for university admissions, Ortom, despite spotting a doctorate degree, does not recognize the importance of building new universities and polytechnics. What is worse, Benue;s students were encouraged by the Ortom administration to shell out money to apply for scholarships. No scholarships were awarded and the application fees were not refunded. It is only Ortom who would count fleecing students of their money in a bogus scholarship program as an act of peoplehood. Benue’s students are not Ortom’s “people.” They, like teachers, retirees, and civil servants, are Ortom’s victims. Victims of wickedness, sadism, and insensitivity.
One cannot even say that by his “people,” Ortom meant the people of his ethnic-nationality, the Tiv. The Tiv people are not Ortom’s “people” even in an Orwellian sense. They are the majority of primary school teachers who are languishing under Ortom’s wickedness and insensitivity. They constitute the overwhelming majority of pensioners and civil servants for whom the Ortom leadership is a demonic leadership. IDPs who live in what Ortom’s spokesman, Nathaniel Ikyur, has said were conditions “unfit for human habitation,” are majorly of the Tiv ethnic stock. Does Ortom care for these innocent people whose homes and dignities have been ravaged by senseless bloodthirsty terrorists? Not a bit. Not only are the IDPs not Ortom’s “people,” Ortom brands them as petty thieves who steal food from his vast and lucrative agricultural empire.
Ortom goes to the sordid well of a fake patriot willing to die for Benue so often because it has worked for him. It was a primary factor in his successful re-election bid in 2019. Ortom is hoping that that fake garb of Benue patriotism has not become tattered and soiled for the 2023 senatorial race.