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Ortom Reconsiders Defecting from APC as Benue Chapter Says No Red Card for Governor


Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom said Thursday, he would reconsider his intention to defect from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Governor disclosed this after he met with the National Chairman of
APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Ortom said the party leadership has assured him that no individual in Benue State can push him out of the party.
This is even as Benue chapter of the party has denied ever given the Governor a ‘red card’
Ortom said: “I was given a red card by a Senator but the leadership of the party told me that the decision of the party leadership at the national level is superior to any individual and I think that is good enough. We have spoken to him, he has spoken to me, stakeholders are going to be spoken to and that is where I belong. We have not concluded the matter, it is an ongoing process because I have always stood for peace and I always want peace to prevail. I appreciate the intervention and I hope that we would be able to resolve the matter of differences and this is the funny thing about politics.
“I am here in APC, a member of APC, am still flying the flag of APC and I only said I was given a red card but I have been corrected by the National Chairman”, he said.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole said Ortom would not be allowed to return to his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said: “I have, as the National Chairman, assured him that the APC does not have a red card in its cupboard so we cannot give what we do not have and we recognize that in several states, there could be legitimate legal issues, there could be agreements, disagreements, some contestations and these we are familiar with.
“There are evidences of the fact that we are a free democratic party and when leaders have disagreements, our responsibility is to help them to find a common ground and the issues in Benue are not so fundamental that we cannot resolve. We have made it clear that we would resolve them; and Sen. Akume is a very respected leader of the party, a former Governor- he will recognise the need for peace and we have what it takes to make peace.
“In Benue, we are going for a win-win solution. Gov. Ortom is not going anywhere; he is a very prominent member of our party. We appreciate his leadership in Benue and we will do everything possible to help those who have issues to have those issues resolved.
“Anything we would do, we would do, provided the only thing we will not accept is anybody leaving the house that we have built together, that we are committed to and I think the government statement is clear.
“For PDP that is deceiving people, they must know that only people without honour will vomit in the morning and in the afternoon they convert it to lunch.
“People like Ortom who have honour cannot leave PDP just three and a half years ago with his eyes open and then later there are some tensions in his master bedroom and is thinking of returning to deceiving people. That, cannot be an option. He is a man of honour and he knows that one should look for one step if you want to take the second step to consolidate the first step; that is the way to go.
“Be assured that PDP can go and do whatever they do, it won’t change the minds of those who are convinced about building the future. It would not be without contestations, it will be based on the understanding that we can have contestations, but we have the qualities required to resolve issues. In Benue, those would be deployed and I am sure Gov. Ortom would be happy, Senator Akume would be happy, much more importantly, the great people of Benue state would be happy, not just our party members, because they want to consolidate what works and not to go back to a broken vehicle”, he added.
However, Benue APC said it has not given Governor Ortom any red card contrary to claims by the Governor.
The Director of Publicity of APC in the state, Peterhot Apeh made the denial in a statement on Thursday in Makurdi.
“We wish to state categorically that the Benue State chapter of the APC has not at any point given a red card to Gov. Samuel Ortom or any other member of the party.
“Rather, the party at its last state Congress in Makurdi endorsed the Governor, and leader of the party in the state, Sen. George Akume for another term in office.
“The endorsement of the Governor and leader of the party was meant to further unite the party in the state.
“And provide a stable political atmosphere for the governor as well as the leader of the party to deliver better dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
“In return for the endorsement by the state chapter of the party, we demand from the Governor improved welfare for the people of the state,” Apeh said.
According to him, these demands have become necessary due to several interventions by the Federal Government in form of bailouts, Paris Club Refunds, budgetary supports.
He said that in spite these and the huge borrowings by Ortom, the state was still clouded with huge salary arrears.
“This includes unpaid pensions of retired civil servants, huge deficits of basic infrastructure and porous security situation bedeviling the state.
“We demand explanations on the handling of affairs, especially issues bothering on security in the state.
“We are grossly embarrassed that these issues raised with the governor in confidence for the purpose of repositioning governance to improve the lot of Benue people has been juxtaposed and treated unclad without regard to the code of secrecy.”
Apeh said that it was disheartening that the Governor was apparently trying to shy away from accountability and to portray the party in bad light.

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