BENUE State governor Samuel Ortom has blasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for calling him an errand boy.
The Benue State chapter of the APC had accused the state governor of abandoning his constitutional responsibilities of providing governance.
The APC chairman in the state, Austin Agada, in a statement on Friday, accused Ortom of reducing himself to an errand boy.
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Ortom who reacted to the criticism in a statement issued on Sunday, December 4, by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, described Agada as a gang leader.
The statement said: “It was not the first time that the young man who runs APC in Benue as if he is leading a group of thugs would insult the governor of his state in the manner he did.
“A party chairman who was beaten to a pulp in his community Otukpa by aggrieved members of APC who were protesting against the fraudulent governorship primary election he conducted in May this year lacks the moral authority to question the leadership abilities of anyone else.
“Agada and others who write and speak for the APC in Benue State were apparently too young to know that the leader of their party, Senator George Akume, as governor of Benue State between 1999 and 2007, was a very close friend of then Rivers State governor Dr. Peter Odili.
“Obviously, the APC state chairman has also heard of the longstanding relationship between Governor Aper Aku of Benue State and Governor Melford Okolo of Rivers State during the second republic. Agada has no idea that cordial relations among state governors are vehicles of development.
“Governor Ortom’s relationship with Governor Wike is built on mutual respect, progress and benefit of the two states. The governor has at different times invited his Rivers counterpart and several other governors to Benue State to commission numerous projects, the same way governor Wike invites him to reciprocate the gesture in his state.
“Last year, during the commissioning of the ultra modern Tor Tiv Palace constructed by the Ortom administration in Gboko, the Tor Tiv, his royal majesty, Professor James Ayatse, conferred chieftaincy titles on Governor Wike, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
“The speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was also honoured with a chieftaincy title at the same event. The ceremony was preceded by the commissioning of four major roads, which Governor Ortom constructed.
“Since they assumed control of the party, the APC State Working Committee led by Agada has not been able to accomplish a single task. They operate the party as a racket.
“The only known achievements of the inexperienced APC leadership in Benue were extorting huge sums of money from aspirants before the party primaries and the reported embezzlement of funds meant for delegates to the party’s national convention in Abuja.’
The statement assured that Ortom remains committed and focused on the mandate of serving the people of Benue, adding that no amount of smear campaign will deter him.