- The Benue governor, Samuel Ortom, is still at loggerheads with the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
- Ortom has described the recent statement by the party saying he left them on his own accord as hypocritical
- The governor's outburst comes 24 hours after meeting the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
Benue governor has described the recent statement by the APC in the state, suggesting he left them on his own accord as hypocritical.
The governor in a statement sent to NAIJ.com by his chief press secretary, Terver Akase, said the statement is “hypocrisy of the highest order,” stressing that the party has before now, passed vote of confidence on him as a result of his performance.
The governor wondered why the APC has been singing his praises before now, only for them to back track and start singing a different tune.
Part of the statement read: “During the state congress of the party at Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, it adopted the governor as its consensus candidate.
“Again, the party publicly said its decision was based on the sterling stewardship of Governor Ortom within the last three years. But being the true democrat that he is, the governor decided that other aspirants be also allowed to vie for the governorship seat to deepen internal democracy in the party.
“We challenge APC in Benue state to bring out facts to back their claim that they had faulted the performance of the governor. We equally challenge the party to make public evidence regarding their claims that bailout funds and Paris Club refund were diverted.
“While Governor Ortom appreciates the platform which APC gave him to offer service to the people of Benue state, it is regrettable that the same party has now turned to demonize him for obvious selfish reasons.”
The statement noted that Governor Ortom has encouraged regular caucus and other stakeholders' meetings at which he constantly gives briefings about the security and financial challenges in the state, adding that he also gets feedback and input at such meetings.
It further noted that the successful conduct of the local government elections which APC candidates overwhelmingly won chairmanship and councillorship positions throughout the state is proof of the popularity of his administration.
“There has really been no need for the party to raise governance issues with Governor Ortom because he gives the leaders and the state working committee regular briefings at meetings and platforms mentioned above.
“Besides, the governor announces to the people of the state receipts of monies and expenditures.
“Governor Ortom gave the people of the state information about the bailout, Paris Club refunds and all other federal government interventions and explained how they could not meet all the final obligations with respect to payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions.
“The claim by the APC that such matters were raised at the last state congress or at a secret forum is therefore not tenable, misleading and insincere.
“The APC state congress was conducted in the public domain and issues of governance were not raised at the meeting.
“It may also be necessary to point out that the last state congress was not convened for the purpose of endorsing or electing the governor, senators and other representatives in the state or National Assembly. Even if that were the case, no one moved any motion for such endorsements and none supported or opposed.
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to make heavy wind out of an endorsement that has no legal backing and cannot be relied upon. At no time did Governor Ortom ever mention that the APC in Benue state gave him a red card. He stated categorically that it was the leader of the party who said at several fora that he had given him red card,” the statement said.
Akase informed that the governor had made internal efforts to resolve the matter within the structure of the party at the state level before going public, adding that the statement by the Benue APC underscores Governor Ortom's concern that the party structure in the state is out to satisfy the whims and caprices of one individual.
He said the APC has become a one man show in Benue state, stressing that the attacks on the governor are coming now because he couldn't meet some inordinate personal ambitions and interests of some party chieftains.
“The media attack on Governor Ortom by the state chapter of APC is the beginning of the smear campaign about which we alerted Benue people and other Nigerians. More of such disparaging statements should be expected in the days to come.
“However, no amount of intimidation or personal attacks can make the governor to abandon the people of Benue state. He has chosen to stand with the people and won't be distracted now or in the future,” the statement concluded.
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Meanwhile, the publicity secretary of the APC in Benue state, Agbo Terkula, has resigned both his membership of the party and his position.
In a letter of resignation, dated Wednesday, July 18,addressed to the state chairman of the party, Terkula claimed the APC controlled federal government did not represent the interests and yearnings of the people of the state.
“The APC which controls the government at the centre does not represent the yearnings and aspirations of the people of Benue state," he said.
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