*says Suswam drew the first blood
*reminds Wike of the good old days as Ministers under Jonathan
By IKANA ADAKOLE, Otukpo
After bouts of attacks against each other, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, North Central Nigeria, has written a letter to his counterpart from the South South Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, seeking peace, a leaked letter purportedly written by the former has surfaced.
In the alleged letter which surfaced on Monday morning, he heaped the blame of the conflict on his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam.
Ortom in the letter titled: ‘MY EARNEST AND SINCERE ENTREATIES FOR PEACE’ he told Wike that he was being blamed for the crisis between him and his predecessor ignorantly because ii was Suswam that drew the first blood, he was only acting on the defensive.
The date of the letter was not included in the copy circulating, but you can read the full letter below:
Barr. Nyesom Wike,
Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
My dear brother,
MY EARNEST AND SINCERE ENTREATIES FOR PEACE
Compliments of the day and calvary greetings I bring to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It has become necessary for me to reach out to you through this missive given the recent turn of events between you and I, particularly as has been given wide attention in the media.
You will agree with me your office and mine are being spotlighted in the public domain for all the wrong reasons, and this I believe is not good for our people.
Permit me to humbly remind you that we both share a relationship which dates back to our days as ministers in the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, during which time I benefited immensely as your colleague from the Olympian height influence and powers you wielded in the innermost corridors of that administration.
You were a rallying point and purveyor of positive ideas and action which added much impetus to the machinery of the Jonathan administration.
I recall vividly the many times you facilitated Mr. President’s favourable attention to requests and proposals from me.
Of a fact and indeed, you were a true colleague and a dependable ally in the spirit of the Northern-Southern Minorities Alliance which was championed in the days of past governors Aper Aku of my state and Melford Okilo of yours.
It is the same spirit I invoke now to implore you to tow the line of restraint and good reason in addressing issues of misunderstanding between yourself and I.
There is absolutely nothing to be gained from fighting each other.
I am aware part of the reasons for your umbrage against me may not be unconnected with the travails of your erstwhile colleague and friend, who happens also to be my predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, who is currently in detention and facing trial by security agencies over certain charges of misconduct levied against him.
I may not be wholly responsible for his calamities, but I understand that the blame for all that happens in Benue State during my time as governor will be heaped on me.
Having said that in this particular regard, permit me to point out an incontrovertible fact to you.
This is the fact of survival being the first and most basic instinct of every living thing.
When I assumed the governorship of my state I was immediately confronted with the unyielding demand for me to carve a new niche for both my party and my administration, more so, being that I was of a different political platform from the previous one.
This demand I expected my predecessor, Suswam, to understand and cooperate with me, despite the discomfort he was bound to be subjected to every now and then.
Unfortunately, my predecessor and your good friend refused to see things in this light.
He instead went on the offensive against me, humiliating me at every opportunity, mostly at public functions, and refusing to accord me the respect and consideration I deserve as governor.
Suswam left me with no choice but to fight back against him in order to survive.
Today this fight has spiralled and dragged you in, but sadly for me, you have joined in the belief that I, who has all along been the victim, is the aggressor.
As a spirit-filled Christian, I have never gone out of my way to fight Suswam.
I have only always reacted in self defense, always leaving everything to the God whom I serve to fight my battles for me.
As a believing Christian, I act only as God directs me.
I assure you that I am making efforts to ensure that his travails with the security agencies are mitigated and he is preserved as a worthy son of Benue State.
This assurance I implore you to take as a mark of my goodwill and accordingly sheath your sword raised against me, in the interest of the people of Rivers and Benue states.
Accept the assurances of my most esteemed regards, as I await positive response from you to this earnest entreaties of mine.
Mr. Samuel Ortom,