Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has ruled out widespread allegation linking him with a plot to defect to the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) insisting that no forces in that party would trick him to dump the governing All Progressives Congress, APC now.
The governor’s position came just as his political godfather and leader of the APC in the state, Senator George Akume has denied having any political discord with the governor over the running of governance in the state.
Governor Ortom who stated this while addressing the caucus of the party at the government house in Makurdi said, he has contributed remarkably in building the party and it would be foolhardy for him to think of leaving it at this critical period of the democratisation process.
“I am not going anywhere if you want to fight me come and try me and let us see where you will land, but to come round and think I will succumb to your tricks, I will not be there with you”.
“Since I came in and with the honour that the APC gave me, I have been building this party with every seriousness and I don’t think we had any major issue whether with the party or the State and National Assembly lawmakers”.
“We have been working harmoniously and at every time I call, they are ready to respond to the call and so I have no issues whatsoever with the party and I have always understood that there is need to give and take. Politics is about interest and for us to go together, we must recognise those interests”.
Two governor’s of the PDP including Nyesom Wike (Rivers State) and Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti state) had during their visits to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the killing of 73 people on the New Year day, wooed Governor Ortom into the party.
Fayose had specifically told Ortom to “change to another vehicle if the vehicle conveying you cannot take you to your destination” (2019), but Ortom swiftly replied him saying he would defect to the PDP only if people of the state ask him to do so.
“I am a member of the APC and about the issue of joining another vehicle, Benue people are here and they are hearing you. I cannot decide for Benue people, the people will decide, it is what they want that I will want. Anything Benue people say I should do, I will do.
Meanwhile, former governor of the state now Senator representing Benue North West at the National Assembly, George Akume has said that he denied having any rift with his political godson, Governor Ortom over the running of government.
Senator Akume who spoke during the APC caucus meeting, said he has no problem with the governor, but noted that he has come under severe attack in recent times over alleged N200 million been extended to him monthly by the present administration and described the allegation as unfounded capable of bringing disunity in the party and heating up the polity.
“I don’t have any problem with Ortom, they said me and him do not agree and as such he is going to defect to PDP but that is not true. They said the Governor cannot pay salaries but is sending N200 million to me every month but these are unfounded allegation capable of causing disunity in the state”
The former governor said the leadership of the party is happy with the giant strides of the Ortom administration in the last three years, maintaining that the party won’t collapse into the PDP and urged supporters to remain united ahead 2019 general elections.