© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Oshiomhole makes u-turn, ridicules Benue Governor, Ortom for dumping APC
LESS than one week after pleading with Samuel Ortom, Governr of Benue State, not to leave the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the party, has made a u-turn, calling Ortom an accidental governor who has done nothing to improve the lives of his citizens.
Oshiomhole taunted Ortom, saying that while President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo, had visited many states to commission projects, they only go to Benue on condolence visits.
This is in reaction to Ortom’s dramatic defection from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday.
Ortom had earlier announced that he had been given “a red card” by the APC, and that he was outside the pitch, waiting for the another football club to join. However, Oshiomhole intervened and pleaded with him to remain in the party.
After the meeting Oshiomhole told newsmen that all was well and that Ortom remains a member of the party.
“APC does not have a red card in our cupboard so we can’t give what we don’t have. Governor 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,” he said st the time.
Things, however, took a dramatic turn on Thursday as Ortom was coming for a party function in Abuja. Some protesters purportedly blocked his convoy and said they no longer wanted him to remain in APC. It was a drama-like “protest” during which the youths forcefully removed the APC flag on Ortom’s vehicle.
Consequently, the governor went back to the government house in Makurdi where he announced that, since his people want him out of APC, he was joining the PDP.
In response, the APC said it was surprised at Ortom’s decision as everything had been settled earlier, but the party said it respects members’ freedom to chose where to belong.
But, Oshiomhole, in an interview on Friday, said he was relieved “that Ortom has left the party and returned to the club he belongs”. Oshiomhole described Ortom as an accidental governor who had performed woefully, adding that his exit would enable the APC field a candidate that will bring development to APC.
“We now have a clean platform to search for a clean and credible candidate from Benue, a candidate that can provide leadership that the great people of Benue state deserves. And not someone who seeks to make political capital out of human graves and celebrating the death of his own people,” he said.
“He became a candidate by accident and the lesson for our party is that never again should anyone become a candidate on our platform by accident.
“It has to be by conscious choice, my aim is that we will have a political party that is defined by clear cut ideology and people will join or abstain from joining on the premise of conviction.”
Ortom’s first tenure in office had been characterised by series of herdsmen attacks in several communities in Benue State. The governor has criticised the federal government for not doing enough to stop the killings.
Once President Buhari ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to relocate to Benue and ensure security, but the police chief flouted the order.