Sam Omatseye: Pain in the heart of hate preacher- Akase
The Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation Newspaper, Sam Omatseye is in tears. He is in deep pain and regret. The pain in Omatseye’s heart began the day Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State was declared winner of the 2019 election.
Omatseye knew that his emotion-laden commentaries enmeshed in acrimony as published on the back page of The Nation had failed to elicit the rejection of Governor Ortom among Benue people – a target he set for himself long before the polls. Omatseye’s diatribe on Governor Ortom sounds much like the frustration which reality thrusts upon a drunken debtor who must face his creditor the next morning. His pain is nonetheless understandable.
I keep wondering what interest the Chairman of a newspaper’s editorial board has in the politics of a state as we have seen in Sam’s frequent outings on Benue State in the last one year. Wither goes Omatseye’s toga of neutrality? Why so much venom upon one governor?
Sam’s latest column as published on the back page of April 1, 2019 edition of The Nation, sought to paint Governor Ortom as a tribal warlord who preaches hate, division and fear using the herdsmen attacks on Benue communities. He in the same column portrayed Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong as a peace-loving man and one who cherishes the unity of all Nigerians living in his state.
Omatseye has apparently lost the meaning of democracy which confers on the people the right to choose their leaders.
The curious question is; who paid Sam Omatseye to denigrate Benue people calling them lovers of food and sex? His words, “I hear they make pounded yam by the day and make love at night.”
Omatseye is clearly on a mission to trigger national hatred towards Benue people and leaders of the State. Quite unfortunate! It is sad because Sam is not known to own cattle. Even if he owns cows, his animals graze far away from the Benue Valley. So why so much anger that Governor Ortom signed a law and insisted that the legislation be implemented? Was Sam aware of the public hearings that took place in the three senatorial districts of Benue before the State House of Assembly passed the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill?
Ironically, in the entirety of the 173-line column in The Nation, Omatseye has failed to fault the 2019 Benue election which gave Governor Ortom his 2nd term. There is nowhere in the piece that he said Governor Ortom was not genuinely voted by the people. This implies that he has also admitted that truly, the Benue State Governor is loved by his people despite vicious daily ‘sermons’ by angry men like Sam Omatseye who try to shred his reputation and political credentials.
Perhaps Sam needs to be reminded that Governor Ortom scored one of the widest margins by any Governor seeking re-election. He polled 434,473 votes to beat his closest rival and candidate of the APC, Emmanuel Jime, who got 345,155 votes – a margin of 89, 318.
Omatseye’s latest bile against Governor Ortom is a veiled attack on Benue people majority of who renewed the Governor’s mandate last month. By repeatedly playing down the herdsmen invasion and killing of hundreds of innocent people, Omatseye has not only chosen the path of infamy but also played the card of a conspirator and that of an editor who uses his medium to insult an entire state. Sam implied in one of his paragraphs that the January 11, 2018 mass burial of 73 Benue victims of herdsmen attacks was a mere political event. We forgive Sam Omatseye. But it must be stated that no dance on the graves of the victims can be more painful and shameful!
Omatseye should have known that under Governor Samuel Ortom Benue has graduated 172 doctors between 2015 and 2018. He should also have known that regular payment of salaries resumed in the State since January 2018 while efforts are in top gear to clear the arrears.
The Nation’s Editorial Board Chairman ought to have told Nigerians in his column that he is now a card carrying member of All Progressives Congress, APC. He didn’t need to hide under the journalism cloak of impartiality to play the political talking drum.