Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom described those criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari for his inability to visit the state in the event of the flood incidence as ‘ignorant’, saying that they do not have the basic knowledge of how government runs.
Gov Ortom said: “Those people who are criticising are completely ignorant of what governance is,” while being interviewed at his official residence in Makurdi on Thursday.
According to the Benue State governor, the president did what he ought to do after being told about the incident, which to him, was enough.
“Immediately after the thing happened, I instructed the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency who then informed the president.
“As soon as the president got the message, he directed the DG to move to Benue and the next day the DG arrived with relief materials.”
He said the criticism was misguided, reminding that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited the state to empathize with the flood victims and pledged government support for them.
The state governor however said: “Those who are criticising are not from Benue State”.
Recall President Buhari was blamed by those who used the social media as medium of passing their grievances over his inability to visit the victims days after the August 27 flood, a disaster that caused a displacement of about 110,000 people from 46,000 homes.
The criticism got tougher after President Buhari’s trip to the United State of America was announced, a decision which was informed by an invitation extended to him by President Donald Trump since February.
The report later confirmed a wrong one since the president returned to Abuja after his Salah holidays in his hometown in Daura Katsina State.
Garba Shehu, the Presidential spokesperson, has justified President Buhari, adding that disaster management in the country has become a shared effort involving other tiers of government.
“Whenever there is an emergency from natural or man-made disasters, all you hear is ‘where is Buhari, what is he doing? What happens with the other tiers of government?” Mr. Shehu said.
He encouraged the states to brace up to the challenge of managing emergencies in their domains owing to a larger share of ecological fund they get compared with the federal government.
“Nigerians, at the state and local governments, should demand transparency and accountability in the management of ecological funds by their Governors and local government chairmen.
“Without accountability by local political leaders, the federal government would continue to be the scapegoat for the failure of states and local governments to use ecological funds for the purposes they were released.
“The largest chunk of the fund goes to the states and local governments. Every month, states and local governments receive 1.4 per cent from the federation account as ecological fund, compared to the federal government’s share of one per cent,” he stated.